What Happened In Arizona During The Cross Country Meet?

Evelyn Gourdie

The Berthoud High School Cross Country team has been a very successful program at BHS for many years now. Around two weeks ago the team was able to travel to Arizona and compete in a Twilight Race. They ran this race in the dark at night whereas normally meets occur during the day so it was something different for everyone. 

Sophomore Marie Cabrera, described this change : “The race was fun in the dark but still lit up enough. The course was hard but that may just be because of my ankle, but it was a fun race and nice to run at sea level.” 

Even though some athletes were impacted by injuries, their determination to compete as well as they can is definitely admired by many. They were put in the small school division however the competition in this category was nothing short of tough. Berthoud was most definitely one of the smallest schools but was still able to showcase a strong performance. They were able to represent Berthoud and Colorado very well. 

These athletes train very hard throughout the week. A normal training schedule for these runners includes practice six days a week, Monday through Saturday. Most sports teams only practice five days a week which shows how dedicated these runners really are. They even practice early in the morning on Wednesdays to get some extra training, including preparing for running in all different types of weather. This training helped prepare for the Arizona race in several ways. 

The team arrived about two days before the race so they could start to adapt to running at a lower altitude and to prepare their lungs for race day. Sydney Slauson, another sophomore runner for the girls team said, “Even though it was hot over there, I felt like I could breathe so much better. I felt awesome running up there.” 

This was a great opportunity for these athletes to perform under different circumstances and, even better, they seemed to enjoy this change. This was a smart way to plan ahead and great thinking from their head coach, Jordan Jennings. Many of the athletes said they were able to use this time to do some team-bonding activities. 

Although competing on two different teams, cross-country is one of the only co-ed sports that practice and train as one group. The runners mentioned some of these team activities included intense spikeball games, swimming and hanging out at the hotel pool, and eating together during team meals. The boys’ team had two runners placed in the top five, sophomore Scott Clark and junior Tate Bothon. The trip seemed to be a success, however, there was a slight turn in events towards the end when the team arrived at the airport only to find out that their flight home had been canceled. Although the team was very disappointed, they were able to make the best out of the situation and spend the extra time swimming and bonding at the hotel. 

Overall the cross-country team seemed to have a great time in Arizona and it looks like they will have a great rest of the season.