Cross Country 2015

An Inside Look of This Year’s Cross Country Season with Coach Poole

Trevor Gulock

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The experience of being a runner is one everyone should appreciate. The excitement, the adrenaline, the feeling of being alive is unparalleled by any other sport. The human body is almost solely designed to run, as our species is known to be able to run farther than any other. Cross Country is the only sport that truly utilizes this gift humans have been blessed with. Along with many schools, Albany Academy should be proud of their Cross Country team.

It feels like only yesterday the Albany Academy Cross Country team heard the gun explode at the starting line of their first meet, the Blackbird Invitational. Our hearts freshly pumping with warm blood from our warm up, we felt confident after a great preseason. Coach Poole, a running expert and experienced cross country coach, admitted he felt quite awesome about this year’s team. However, he was concerned about the injury of one of the team’s best runners, Alex Foyt. Alex has a gift for running, and was leading the team to victories as a freshmen. The team was prepared for a great season still, considering the number of miles the runners put in over the summer. Coach Poole was impressed and remarked in an interview, “I felt confident that we were going to have a very solid team. Based on what we had returning, combined with the mileage several kids have put in over the summer- and that’s really what cross country is all about.” The team has put in a lot of hard work and has been rewarded with a terrific record and much improvement.

Over the years the cross country team has seen many runners grow and improve, and is always looking for new runners. The cross country team is proud this year about how many kids we have, both new and experienced. Coach Poole remarked that varsity runners like Max Tulchinsky, Marcus O’Leary, Sawyer Balint, Ahmed Lachgar and Matthew Milliken have put in a lot of effort this year, and continue to lead the team. The miles that they put in over the summer are astounding and set a great example for other runners to aspire to.

Coach Poole was equally excited to coach runners new to the program, including Chris Verstandig, who has run very well for the team so far. This group of kids have been a blast to practice with. “The seniors add a lot of team spirit…”, Coach Poole points out, which along with great leadership adds a great environment to the team. Captains this year, Sawyer Balint and Steve Verstandig, have truly exemplified what it means to be a determined runner and leader.

The Albany Academies should be proud of their Cross Country team’s record, winning all of our dual meets against Catholic Central, Ichabod Crane, and Schalmont High School. Of course the team will have to continue to work hard to improve with the help of our coach to be prepared for Sectionals. We are very excited to be running in the upcoming Burnt Hills and Albany County Invitationals. The team is very focused on these upcoming meets and looks forward to working to get better.

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