ARS Seniors on the Junior Varsity cross country team ran their last high school cross country meet Friday October 16, 2015 at Long Lake for the 2015 District meet.
Rewon Shimray joined the cross country team in 8th grade and has since made many close friends among her teammates, some of whom she claims she may not have befriended otherwise.
“It’s actually pretty crazy because I’ve made most of my closest friends through cross country. That’s how I met Myra, Reyna, Marlene, Georgia, Katya, and I don’t know if I’d be friends with them if I hadn’t been in cross country with them,” Shimray said.
Most seniors agree that the friends they’ve made through cross country are some that they’ll continue to stay in touch with, and the lessons they’ve learned have allowed them to grow as individuals.
Gaby Ponce, who joined the team when she was a 7th grader, noted that she wrote a college essay on the lessons she’s learned throughout her cross country journey.
“I’ve learned dedication, perseverance, and resiliency. Dedication-I’ve been doing this since 7th grade. I wake up every morning, I don’t miss practice, I come to the race. Perseverance-Even though I feel like I can’t do this anymore, I still try my best, and resiliency-there’s times I’ve been injured or I have no motivation, but you have to get back up. You have to tell yourself it’s going to get better and you just have to keep doing it.”
These three lessons not only help in cross country running, but also in other aspects of the senior runners’ lives.
Reyna Ostos, who started running cross country as a high schooler during the first semester of her sophomore year, shared that since she joined the ARS cross country team, she’s been able to stay involved in activities she picks up, as opposed to quitting them.
”I’ve learned to do my homework at home because I don’t have time in the morning to do it as I normally do. I’ve learned that sometimes hard things are not as bad with friends and I’ve learned to have endurance,” Reyna Ostos said. “I normally don’t stick with things, but I’ve actually stuck with cross country and it’s helped me stick with other things.”
The JV team took 2nd place overall in their district and the seniors said that they were proud of the effort they put into their last race.
When asked about this being her last meet, Miranda Ward, a three season cross country runner said, “I’m really sad because this is my last meet but I’m also really happy because after this it means I get more sleep.”
As for cross country memories, Katya Witliff, who joined the team as high school sophomore recalled a few.
“I feel like I have a lot of my favorite memories, but most of them don’t really come from the actual run itself,” Katya said.
“At St. Andrews, our junior year, it was raining and it was really cold. There was all these really big, wealthier schools who had all their fancy tents pulled tight and all the nice creases and they had the wind blockers in. And ours was so janky. It was crooked, we tied other tarps to it, our sign was falling. On the bars going across, we had wet sweats and backpacks hanging and it was so muddy. It looked like a little refugee camp in the middle of everything.”
The senior runners agree that overall, their journey hasn’t been the easiest, but it has been rewarding nonetheless.
“It’s taught me overall that working hard means it’s going to hurt a little but it’s always worth it,” Shimray said.