By: Christopher Crean
The last leaves are falling, which means that fall sports are coming to an end. This includes Cross Country and the long and tedious procedures that they endured in order to safely operate a COVID-free team. The regulations that needed to be taken by the program showed negative effects on the motivation of the runners as more and more regulations needed to be taken to stay safe. However, the captains of the team (Tyler Nicosia, Jude Bazerman, Aidan Dickson, Hannah Morgan, and Jenna Goldbach) did a phenomenal job of boosting team morale. The captains accomplished this despite the fact that no captain had been expected to be able to fight such factors when it came to raising team spirit.
Sophomore captain Hannah Morgan showed great leadership when she confidently stated, “We (the captains) knew how to make the harder parts of the sport more enjoyable for all the runners.” While maintaining the motivation of the athletes in order to increase their speed, endurance, and cadence, the captains also managed to enforce the restrictions set in order to not spread COVID-19.
Captain Jude Bazerman gave some insight on how the captains managed to do this when he stated, “The 9-1 record the team was able to pull off was motivating enough to follow the guidelines given to us by Coach Timan without reluctance.” Coach Timan, the captains, and the winning record are the reasons that the guidelines were followed without a hiccup this season.
The 9-1 record mentioned above is no coincidence either. An astonishing amount of runners achieved new personal bests this season. One female runner was able to decrease her 5K time by an astounding 5 minutes. This sort of improvement, impressive as it may be, seemed to be a common trend among runners this year. The boys varsity squad put up times that had not been achieved at JCHS for years. The secret to this was how well rounded the squad was: they ran as one at every practice, with top runner and captain Aidan Dickson pushing himself and others to new limits. This was a necessity in achieving a winning record due to the scoring system of the meets that the team attends: To earn first place as a team, you must have all players accumulate points based off of each runner’s individual place. Therefore, one amazing runner and a group of mediocre runners would not do the team any good.
All in all, the Caldwell Cross Country team made the absolute best of poor circumstances and made this season one for the books. To sum up the year, senior captain Tyler Nicosia got emotional when asked for a quote on the season as a whole: “My final season went swimmingly, and I’ll miss my cross country family. I would even consider coming back to coach one day as well!” That type of dedication speaks for itself, showing that the Cross Country team is truly something special. Thank you to all of the coaches, captains, and players for a safe and successful season.