The Cross Country team has been training since the early summer since the third week of June to prepare for any future meets and competitions coming their way. Every team has been putting in time and effort to strengthen their skills to hopefully advance onto state and regionals. Long distances are run outside as the athletes test their endurance and beat their previous records.
“For the Cross Country meets what you have is Varsity Boys and Girls run 5K’s which is 3.1 miles. JV Boys typically run a 5K as well, and then JV Boys and Freshmen Boys run two miles, there’s no Freshman Girl team,” assistant coach Kristen Egbert said.
Unlike a variety of other sports, both boys and girls participate together and complete their races as one team. Coaches Shay Collett, Kristen Egbert, and Tyrone Void help train the teams and lead them throughout each of the seasons in any way they can.
“They all run together, so it’s different than Track where you have a head Boys Coach and a Head Girls Coach. There’s one head coach for Cross Country and right now we have two assistant coaches, myself and Coach Void, but all the girls and guys, they run,” Egbert said. “They have different mileage and different amounts that they have to run but they go together, so if we have a meet on Saturday for instance, we have a Friday recovery day, so it’s like 45-minute run or like 6 miles. They’ll run together the girls, guys everyone goes together.”
Practices start in the weekday mornings before school starts and continue during first period every day. They finish their mileage by running around the school during practice.
“We start practice at 6 a.m so we have first period Cross Country, our practices start at six because typically on certain days like our Mondays when it’s our long run day our top boys are running nine to ten miles so they need at least an hour to get that run in,” Egbert said.
Whenever they go compete against other teams, a school will decide to host the competition somewhere so everyone could meet up and race throughout the woods, grass, or wherever it’s being held.
“If Klein Cain hosted a meet, it wouldn’t be just set here. We get to pick where we wanted to go, so for instance, we would probably go to the Conroe YMCA one and that would be ours. Spring ISD hosted at Burroughs Park in Tomball, so different venues,” Egbert said.
Runners have to push past any mental roadblocks they have in order to make it to the finish line and to victory. Running the mileage is exhausting for some of them, but they enjoy playing regardless and won’t stop until they met their goals.
“A lot of our runners are injured right now, but a lot of it is stuff that they can push through. The little physical pains because we keep bumping the mileage and upping our practices, so just that mental block they have to get over and push through,” Egbert said.