The Phoenix Fire

Crossing the Finish Line

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by Jessica Huang

It’s that time of year again, when leaves are swirling through the air, and warm winter coats are needed. It is the time of year for new sports. After a long, but successful season, it is also time to say goodbye to cross country, the sport that the majority of the Phoenix team participates in.

The coaches and runners alike will all be saying a sad farewell. Mr. Weigel, boys cross country coach reminisces the season. “I personally enjoyed watching the kids get better throughout the season.  I love it when kids finish a race and are excited about the fact that they ran faster than they have ever run before.  I love it when kids do more at practice when they are given the option to stop. I love it when kids get so into the sport that they join the summer high school camp and come into the season in great shape because they ‘buy into’ getting better. “ Luckily for him, he will continue to watch kids grow, unlike the eighth graders who will be entering high school next year. Katherine Ruan, an 8th grader, told us what she liked best about the season. “The moment when you are running into the finishing chute, and you know you can rest soon. [This] made me more resilient.” But although it is time to say goodbye, they ended on a high note.

While most might think that the highest score wins, cross country is like golf, where lower scores win. The team with the lowest score is the winner. The runner who comes in first gets 1 point, second 2 points, and so on. The top 5  scores are added up, and the team with the fewest points wins.

At the last, and biggest competition of the season, the conference meet, the seventh-grade cross country team won, however, the eighth graders did not do so well. But, Mr. Weigel is happy with the outcome saying, “ I am satisfied with the results.  For me, it is not about winning. For me, success is doing the best you can with what you have.  I feel that at all levels, kids worked to the best of their abilities, had fun, and got better. That, to me, is all that matters.”

And having fun is a priority for Kennedy’s runners. They got a much deserved Pasta Party to welcome the end of the season. At the party, Mrs. Harper, an assistant coach, provided some feedback on the season. She hopes that her students will leave cross country with something. “Overall, all we’ve ever cared about is if kids have had a good experience. If we’ve taught them that, then we’ve reached our goal.” said Mrs. Harper. And judging by all the smiling faces, the coaches seem to have fulfilled their goal for this year.

It is the time of year when we say goodbye to the warm weather, and sunny skies, when trees are filled with a brilliant green, and birds chirp in the sky. Now’s the time to congratulate all of our cross country runners on their successful season here at Kennedy, as they cross the finish line.

Winning Traditions with Jessica and Ria (link)

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Crossing the Finish Line