Story by Jamie Elliott
"Go, go, go!" coaches shouted as student athletes were about to cross the finish line. Have you ever wondered how cross country runners prepared for their meets? Let's back up 30 minutes and find out.
Cara Naas, seventh grade, Thomas Biltimier, seventh grade, and Greta Heyl, eighth grade, are varsity cross country runners.
Practice is a big part of preparing for a race.
"We'll run three to four miles and it helps me build up endurance," said runner Greta Heyl.
Cross country has one and a half hour practices Monday through Thursday, and sometimes Saturday as well.
According to coach Jeff Carter, practice is useful, but it is also good to run outside of school.
Biltimier said he runs about three times a week (outside of practice) for extra conditioning.
Being prepared physically is important, and another way to be prepared is to stretch. All the runners take time to stretch during practice, as well as during a meet.
Naas said that stretches are helpful because they get your blood running, and they get you loose before the race. You won't be as tight while running in a meet if you stretch before you start.
The runners emphasized that along with stretching, it's important to drink water throughout the day of a meet.
Your running performance can be negatively affected by dehydration, slowing down your ability to recover from competition and be ready for the next day's workout.
Biltimier said he drinks water all day long so that he is hydrated and doesn't get overheated.
Drinking water matters just as much as what you eat before a race does, but eating can be based on your personal experiences and likings.
Naas usually eats crackers or a sandwich, while Greta Heyl usually eats something light like pretzels. However, Thomas Biltimier said he eats, "a banana so I don't get cramps."
These are all things that cross country runners do so that they can be fully prepared before, during, and after a meet.
All stories, photos and video footage by the seventh and eighth grade newspaper students.