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One Last Run

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One Last Run

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Being involved in many activities inside and outside of school can be difficult to manage, but that does not keep Jarrett Iverson (12) from making time to better his performance in running. Not only does he run for Cross Country, but also is a part of the school’s marching band and his church’s worship team. Having done this for all four years of his high school career, Iverson has learned a lot about responsibility, and his experience helps him motivate his teammates.

 

“When I played football in middle school, I realized I wasn’t really good at the football part but was good at the running part,” said Iverson.

 

Iverson first joined the James Buchanan Cross Country team his freshman year. Having never run that much before, his body wasn’t used to that kind of physical activity. He was barely able to keep up with his team members in summer training and the first few weeks of the season until his body fully adjusted.

 

“This year was kind of a rebuilding year for us. We lost a lot of seniors […] and also a good coach last year. So with a new coach, Mrs. Grove, and with a lot of new members, it was certainly a building year this year,” said Iverson.

 

Having a new coach and new members there was a need for more extra motivation and teaching. During his four years of running, Iverson had to face obstacles such as learning proper form and breathing technique. As team members would face these kinds of obstacles, he would use his prior experience to teach the team how to face and overcome them.

In the midst of running the Clear Spring Invitational, Jarrett Iverson (12) pushes on to try and pass his opponent.

“Leadership-wise I think I have a sense of moral responsibility during the cross country season to keep my grades up and motivate my team in and out of school,” said Iverson.

Iverson has not only improved his running technique and form over his high-school career, but also has improved his leadership abilities, responsibility, and mental fortitude. Having to balance all of his activities on top of school work was a large obstacle, but helped him in gaining these skills. Iverson wants his team to improve in these areas as well.

 

“Running is 10% physical and 90% mental, so if you’re trying to run better, yes you should focus on your diet and form and running and everything, but more than that, you need to focus on perseverance and staying mentally strong,” said Iverson.

 

Iverson believes that his success is due to his mental perseverance and fortitude, not just his running ability. Anybody can run, but the hard part is telling yourself that you can run for that long without stopping.

 

“…I can only see [the team] improving next year with Coach Stan and Mrs. Grove getting more experience and all the underclassmen knowing how the sport works now,” said Iverson.

 

Nearing the end of his 2018 season, Iverson was one of five to make districts. He has high hopes for the team next year and believes that they can only improve from where they are now.

Filed under Sports

The Secret Behind Distance Running

Getting up and running a 5k is not as easy as it looks, but the James Buchanan Cross Country team has it figured out.

+James+Buchanan+girls+start+their+race+against+the+Boiling+Spring+bubblers+on+Tuesday+Sept.+19.
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The Secret Behind Distance Running

 James Buchanan girls start their race against the Boiling Spring bubblers on Tuesday Sept. 19.

James Buchanan girls start their race against the Boiling Spring bubblers on Tuesday Sept. 19.

Rachel Kimmel

James Buchanan girls start their race against the Boiling Spring bubblers on Tuesday Sept. 19.

Rachel Kimmel

Rachel Kimmel

James Buchanan girls start their race against the Boiling Spring bubblers on Tuesday Sept. 19.

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Each runner lines their foot up along the white line stretching across an open field. Everything is silent, except for the cicadas buzzing in the distance. They brace themselves as the official raises both the orange flag and gun.

 

Bang!

 

The gun is fired and the flag falls down as the runners start their long trek up and down hills and valleys and through forest and fields.

 

This is just the start of any three-mile race that the boys and girls cross country team had to run this fall.

 

The Cross Country team has successfully completed eight dual meets this month, as well as three invitationals. There have been numerous personal records from each runner and six boys and four girls from the team that has qualified for the district meet coming up in October. But none of this would have been possible without all the work and effort each runner has put into his or her race.

 

Before the race season even began, the team was already running. Jerome Staniszewski, head coach of the boys’ and girls’ Cross Country team, stated, “Throughout the summer we trained three days a week.”

 

Voluntary though it was, many of the runners showed up, giving them a leg up for this season. Their training consisted of a variety of running such as distance, speed work, fartleks, hills and interval training.  

 

“Even though the race is only 3.1 miles, we want to get a lot of miles,” says Staniszewski.

 

Each type of training improves the runner’s ability and endurance, which is all needed when racing.

Rachel Kimmel
Casey Dorsey runs the last few yards of his race.

Not only do the runners train physically, they also train mentally.

 

“There’s a large mental aspect to running,” Staniszewski explains as he goes into further detail about how to coach mental toughness.

 

Ryan Haylett, the assistant coach, is the mastermind behind coaching mental toughness. He leads the team in talks about ignoring pain and staying focused on their running form, which in turn helps them run better.  

 

“They’ll have us write write-ups about the races and different papers to keep us focused,” says Kaiden Stinson, 12, one of the senior runners who has participated in the sport all four years of his high school career.

 

By writing about their races, the runners are able to reflect on their performance and determine what they need to do to get better. Haylett will also have them write other write-ups about who inspires and motivates them.

 

Haylett also persuaded the team to do the steel commitment.

 

“He’s doing this thing that every time he takes a shower, the last minute he turns the water on ice cold,” says Stinson as he describes Haylett’s steel commitment, which is meant to help develop mental toughness that can be transitioned into racing.

Rachel Kimmel
(Right to left) Brandon Boyer, Jacob Asbach and Kaden Stinson watch the finish of the boys race.

From the efforts of physical and mental training, when the team has to line up to run any race, they always go in knowing they have worked hard and they should have nothing to fear because 3.1 miles has become a piece of cake.

 

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