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The Current

Bruin XC looks back on successful season

On October 27th, Bear River XC ran their final meet of the season. Courtesy Photo

As the Bruins cross country season comes to a close, runners reflect on their final PVL (Pioneer Valley League) meet of the season, which took place on their home course at Bear River High School.

Coach Skyler Mousley expressed satisfaction with the outcome of the meet.

“The meet was very successful! It is important to see where we are at for the season,” Coach Mousley said. “Races are big indications of the work that we have previously done and indications for what we need to work on for the upcoming meets.”

Junior Austin Phipps explained the meet’s course, including that he likes this route despite the difficulties it presents.

“The Bear River High School course is a mixture of steep hills and flat trails, making the course a test of pacing and planning for when to use or save your energy, depending on whether or not you know there is a hill ahead or not,” said Phipps. “I personally enjoy the challenge the Bear River course gives, because I’m not the fastest runner in general, so the hills throughout the course allows me to catch up to other runners that do not do as well on the hills when they would easily be able to beat me otherwise.”

Junior Eli Funk added that the course has been redirected several times over the years as a result of obstacles for one reason or another.

“Our Bear River course has changed from race to race, often due to weather or construction,” he said. “This year, we rerouted away from the extremely muddy tennis courts. Overall, I like our course because it is familiar and has a balanced amount of hills. The sections in the grass I like least.”

Senior Julia Pisenti conveyed the stress that cross country brings, considering the continuous effort the sport entails.

“It’s kind of nerve racking knowing you’re going to be in a lot of pain for the next fifteen to thirty minutes,” said Pisenti. “It’s a bit scary knowing what’s to come, and knowing how you’re going to feel during the race, but once it’s done it’s a really good relief.”

Phipps added on, giving an explanation of the anxiety he endures before his race.

“What typically makes me nervous before a race is just my own consciousness, asking myself questions: ‘Did I drink enough water, get enough sleep last night, eat enough food to have enough energy to run the race well?’” he said. “Typically, though, as soon as I start to run, the nervousness disappears and I just keep on at a steady pace until the end of the race.”

Funk described the specific experience he had while running in this race.

“I was excited for this meet, and was hoping to get a personal record,” said Funk. “During the race, I started off very strong for the first two miles, but by then I started to slow down. In the last half mile, I passed one more person and sprinted to the finish, ending in 8th place. I hadn’t gotten an overall PR, but I did for our course.”

Despite the struggles participating in cross country brought her, Pisenti, a first year runner, expressed her sorrow for the closing of the season. 

“I’m relieved but a little sad,” she said. “I’ve got to say, coming into cross country with little training was one of the hardest things I had to do. It’s a relief knowing I won’t have to worry about anything like placing, however, I find it a bit sad that it’s over already and I never got the chance to do it years prior.”

Coach Mousely found the season to be extremely gratifying, showing satisfaction in the athletes’ performances. 

“The season was very successful overall,” said Mousley. “Half the team is new this season and everybody on the team has gotten a personal record. It takes a lot of physical and mental work to try to achieve your best even if it takes you months to do it. I have been very impressed with every athlete’s perseverance this season and diligently training with a good attitude”

Bruins found the Bear River meet to be a great success; the runners expressed contentment with their performance and the overall outcome of this meet.

Phipps added that he always looks forward to practices and meets because of the team’s unity.

“The runs are always a good time and hanging out before and after meets gives me something to look forward to on hard runs,” he said.

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Bruin XC looks back on successful season