The student news site of Wilmington Friends School

The Whittier Miscellany

The student news site of Wilmington Friends School

The Whittier Miscellany

The student news site of Wilmington Friends School

The Whittier Miscellany

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Is Cross Country A Sport?



Sports: A practice that we here at Friends take very seriously. Sports are a huge part of our community and overall experience at school. They are a great way to make friends, stay in shape, and have a good time. The community is familiar with the school’s awesome volleyball team, field hockey team, and of course our outstanding football team, however what about the sports that don’t get as much attention from the general community?

Cross country has been a sport at WFS for over two decades and it has grown and changed throughout the years into the wonderful program we have today. Despite the large number of students usually on the cross country team, the sport still has many misconceptions surrounding it. A large number of cross country runners get asked the question “Why did you choose cross country? It’s literally just running.” Some haters even say “It’s not even a real sport”. On the surface, cross country may just seem like running in a park or a forest for a few hours a day. However, it has a much deeper meaning for many of its participants that is so much more than “just running”. WFS Coach, Leah-Kate Lounsbury says “Running transcends a lot of things in life. It is an opportunity to learn about yourself and how far you’re willing to push your comfort zone. It’s you and your two legs running as fast as you can and I think that’s one of the most challenging things we as humans can do.”

Many things set cross country aside from other, more traditional sports.

 Many people like cross country because of how individual it is. While your team is of course there to support you and lift you, when race day comes, it’s up to you and you alone to determine how far you are willing to push yourself. WFS Cross Country runner, John Ursomarso’24 stated “Cross country isn’t about teamwork, it’s not about developing a play, it’s about developing yourself physically. I think there’s something to be said that the only person pushing yourself is you.”

Another aspect of cross-country that appeals to people is the lack of cost. Unlike most sports, cross country only really requires a good pair of running shoes and maybe a watch if you want to track your time. This makes it much easier for individual training because you don’t need to drive to a sports field or a gym with a heavy bag of equipment, all you have to do is start running. Team captain Liam Sullivan’24 says “I think people get caught up in their preconceptions about sports. People think of scoreboards, and lights, and stands, but that’s not the definition of a sport.” another captain, Ava Rubano’24 explains her idea of the definition of a sport: “If you’re not getting your heart rate up it’s not a sport.”

Why do people even choose to get into cross country in the first place? Many runners have given a variety of different answers to this question. Some students like Ursomarso ’24 stated “I just wanted to get in better shape” while other students simply said they wanted the sports credit. Duncan Roskovensky’24 stated “I started cross country in middle school when we were required to do three sports per year. I chose running because it was not a team sport like many of the others. It was a bit more individual and I found I could go more at my own pace.”

The sport of cross country is an amazing character builder, conditioner, and overall learning experience unlike any other. You learn about yourself, how to keep a steady state of mind in uncomfortable conditions, and how far you are willing to push your limits both physically and mentally. Cross-country running emerges not just as a sport but as a testament to the human spirit’s resilience, determination, and individuality as a whole. The sport is unpredictable, and demanding, yet extremely rewarding for those who choose to embrace it with open hearts and resilient spirits.

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About the Contributor
Ethan Halaby
Ethan Halaby, Staff Writer
Ethan Halaby is a writer for The Whittier Miscellany and joined at the beginning of the 2023 school year. Ethan joined Whittier because he thought it would be an effective way to share his thoughts and writing with the Friends community. Some of Ethan’s favorite things to write about are current events, politics, and activism. Ethan loves to write because he finds it refreshing to get his thoughts out of his head and onto paper. He loves to be as involved as he can in the Friends community and is currently a member of GSA, PRISM, and the welcoming committee. He hopes you enjoy his work for the 2023-24 school year!

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    Lily LaickJan 24, 2024 at 11:57 am

    I am in cross country I love how to go over this topic