From team movie nights to superstitions, men’s cross country has more of a family-like bond. While growing stronger as a team physically, they also grow stronger as a family.
Before meets, some eat strictly the same meal, and others don’t eat corn nuts to avoid cramping up; but once they hit the course, they are all one team.
“We always slap our legs really loud to intimidate the other teams,” Evan Risucci said.
Having practice multiple times a week and 12 meets throughout the season, the men’s cross country team grows close very fast.
Some teammates recently created a new challenge to see who could keep up with it.
“Four of us runners decided to see who could drink a whole gallon of water each day, Austin Shields lost, but now I still continue it,” Jacob Harbert said.
They started this challenge in September and ended shortly after the loss. This does not stop the teammates from staying motivated to complete this task as often as possible.
Other teammates got inspiration from this idea and started to attempt to drink a gallon of water as well.
“We just do it for the benefits, even though everyone’s been failing,” Risucci said. Excess water is removed from the body when sweating, so for runners it is extremely important that they stay hydrated during practice and meets.
Competitions like these help the team grow a close bond which makes them stronger as a unit.
“I’ve met all my friends through cross country,” Harbert said.
Part of this strong relationship the team shares is from team bonding.
Before each league meet, they go to someone’s house for dinner. They have even had a team movie night before. It’s usually held by the coach. This helps the athletes bond outside of practice and meets in a different environment.