Beating COVID to the finish line

Beating COVID to the finish line

By Araceli Galarza Posted March 19, 2021

Running cross country isn’t easy, one goes through many challenges in order to come out on top. This year with COVID is no different but just as if not harder. Lowry’s cross country team has still managed to pull out.

“The only thing that’s different this season is that without postseason competitions, it takes some of the pressure off and we can focus more on athletic development,” said coaches Kitty Norcutt and Kristin Flanders.

At the team’s last meet in Dayton, the hard work paid off. The girls placed well individually. Jovi Kuskie got 1st, Ryleigh Rabee got 3rd. Jeremy Walker placed 3rd with the rest of the boys following behind.

Practices have needed to change which has caused some shift but overall the runners are adapting.

“Practices have changed mostly by having to always run from the school whereas during a normal season we would usually be able to drive to different places to run,” said Kuskie. “They’ve also been different because we race on Tuesdays instead of Saturdays, so our overall weekly workout schedules have changed a lot.”

Tyler Morrison and Jeremy Walker at the home cross country meet. /Lisa Scott • Winnada
Tyler Morrison and Jeremy Walker at the home cross country meet. /Lisa Scott • Winnada

It’s easy to lose focus and to become unmotivated. It’s no different when you’re running. Walker has been running for some time. In order to keep up his motivation, he looks towards those cheering him on.

“Some things that inspire me to run are my coaches, parents, and family,” said Walker. “Their encouragement inspires me to work hard every day and do my best.”

It’s difficult to have the right mindset for running. Walker emphasizes having a good mindset.

“Some advice I have for future runners is to always keep a positive mindset and work hard, even on your bad days,” said Walker. “Training and doing those races are some things that will teach you that you can do anything.”
Rabee agrees that the mental aspect of running is the most difficult.

Jovi Kuskie runs even with a Spring Creek runner. /Lisa Scott • Winnada
Jovi Kuskie runs even with a Spring Creek runner. /Lisa Scott • Winnada

“The hardest aspect of running cross country is definitely the mental part,” said Rabee. “My brain automatically gets negative and you have to focus on staying positive or else it really shows in your running. Seeing really steep hills in your race can make you nervous and negative but you just have to stay positive and push through to the top.”

Overall there are many things that the runners are proud of. Some are meet scores other are goals that they have been trying to achieve.

“This season I’m really looking forward to improving personally and reaching my goal of beating Elko’s top runner,” said Rabee. “I’m also super excited since we’re going to be able to have regionals this year and I am definitely training hard for that since it’s coming up on April 10th.”

The cross-country team will continue to strive for better in order to meet their Regional goals. Regionals will take place on April 10 and have been fueling the runners’ drive.

“I’m mostly looking forward just finally being able to compete, but also really looking forward to our regional meet, and getting all the schools together for a big race,” said Kuskie. “I’m also looking forward to being able to travel as a team again to represent Lowry sports.”

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