Adversity in Athletics: A Synopsis of the 2016 Cross Country Season

Trevor Gulock, Co-Editor

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The Academy lifestyle holds athletic activities close to its heart, which can be clearly seen as almost all of our scholars participate in sports year-round. The reason our students bleed black and red at every event we compete in is that it gives us a sense of family. This family is one in which members gain character every weekend, at a race, meet, or game. Sports enable us, once we have graduated, to accept responsibility, while remaining humble and to perform well under pressure. Most importantly, Academy life centers around the fact that we’re all part of a higher cause, and that we need to persevere through adversity, not only for ourselves but for the person next to us as well. For the 2016 cross country season, the boys’ team persevered through adversity to achieve something never before witnessed in Academy history.

Through rain and mud, hail and snow, the cross country team proudly leapt over puddles and switched socks to get our best times come race season. Coach Poole’s exaggerated solemnity will forever be burned into my brain as he shouted the words, “There’s no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing.” However, this attitude would carry us through most of the season, as we were serious in our races. We never took races lightly, no matter how insignificant, which would later bring us to an undefeated season.

However, the mentorship of Coach Poole and Coach Nelson wasn’t the only thing that sustained our healthy and persistent drive this season: I’d like to credit the seniors and captains this year for reminding us to get in extra miles over the weekend, and stay in three (somewhat) distinct lines during dynamic warm-ups. While Aaron Jafri, Alex Karasavidis, Owen McClain and Zarek Thomas lightened practice with a sociable attitude and an optimistic perspective, our two senior captains, Ahmed Lachgar and Max Tulchinsky, deserve most of the credit for bringing us success this season.

The achievement that really distinguished this year’s season from those of the past is that this was the first season in which we won sectionals. This outcome was made possible not only by our top ten runners who competed in the sectionals race, but by the efforts of every single member of the team. My teammates sweat six times a week to drop times, improve their stamina and gain character. After the sectionals race I was happy to see Coach Poole and Nelson glowing as each individual on our team finished. Sectionals of the 2016 season is one I’ll never forget and helped me see the true value of what athletes can do.

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Adversity in Athletics: A Synopsis of the 2016 Cross Country Season