Cross-country teams create friendly atmosphere, reach for potential in new situation


Andrew Burke-Stevenson

Junior Zach Gin leads a group of runners while running at a meet in Washington Park.

Colin Leslie, Reporter

The girls cross country team came in 9th place and the boys team came in 13th out of 15 teams on Oct. 31 at the IHSA 1A sectional championship, marking the end of the cross country season. On Oct. 28, the girls team finished in second place and the boys team finished in third at the regional championship.

The girls team and boys team both came in third place at the Independent School League championship on Oct. 15. The IHSA is not holding state championships this year.

The main goal for the season, according to senior Sana Shahul, girls team co-captain, was to do their best in a situation they had not experienced before, and she said she thought the team did so successfully. Sophomore Cristian Ferreyra, a member of the boys team, echoed this.

According to Sana, the girls team had online pasta parties, core workouts and spirit days this season.

“I was definitely trying to, being captain this year, really create a team atmosphere and really trying to foster that same family-like spirit when you have to be six feet apart and when everything is kind of uncertain,” Sana said. “This year, more than ever, just organizing these online events and figuring out, when you can’t see people, hug people, touch people, how you still show that we’re together and we’re a family.” 

Cristian said he appreciated how close the team remained despite having to distance and wear masks during practice.

“When you’re practicing every day together, you’re sweating and running miles upon miles, you really grow close with the guys that are there,” Cristian said. “Even though we lost a couple people because they graduated and because of the whole COVID situation, and we were apart for a longer period of time, I do think we were still very close during the season.”

Junior Zach Gin, boys team co-captain, said the main difference this season was that it was much shorter. The team practices, he said, felt similar. 

“We try to do our best at every meet,” Zach said. “With a shorter season, it’s definitely harder to ramp up to your peak performance.”