Cross country opens with Pre-Season Jamboree

Sarah Day, Staff Writer

The girls’ cross country team will start the Pre-Season Jamboree at 7:30 a.m. Saturday at Wickham Park and the boys will follow with an 8 a.m. race.

“I’m definitely excited that the Jamboree is finally here, indicating the beginning of the season and probably giving a good baseline for what I can currently do and what I can shoot for incoming meets,” said Jacob Smithe, a top varsity runner. “I doubt I’ll be using any different method than what I’ve done over the years, even if this race decides whether I’ll earn a varsity position: just get a good lead at the start, maintain my pace and try to kill myself the last few hundred meters.”

Because the Pre-season Jamboree doesn’t count toward the official team record, it is more of a way for the coaches to form their varsity team based on the top seven runners that finish — for both girls and boys.

“It looks like the varsity team is taking form, even before the qualifying race,” Smithe said.  “I can definitely see the commitment in all the guys coming out in the mornings, which is as important as, if not more important than, a fit body when it comes to running to win. We lost Michael Field last year, our third or fourth guy, but coming up we have two new seventh-graders — Christian and Austin — that are coming to the morning practices and have been showing a lot of promise, both of them having scored around or a little below 20 minutes in other 5ks on their own time. However, those were likely road races which are usually faster than regular cross country meets, so I’m interested to see how they do time wise as well as relative to the rest of the potential varsity team this weekend. I must say that with what I’m seeing, I’m fully confident that our varsity team can make it all the way to state for the third time in a row.”