Season Recap: Cross Country Prepares for Strong Finish

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Photo credit to John Hale

The M-A girls and boys cross country teams are both currently tied for second overall in the Peninsula Athletic League (PAL) in their respective divisions. Both teams still have high hopes for winning the league, with the championship race taking place on November 5 and worth double the points of a regular PAL race. Coach Alan Perry commented on the team’s current place: “We’ve struggled at times this year, to be perfectly honest. We need to work on sustaining mental effort — running three miles up and down hills in not easy from a mental or physical standpoint — and being ready for the difficulty that an event like that will take.”

The team has run two of its three PAL races (not including PAL championships) this season. In the M-A cross country team’s first PAL competition of the year on September 14, the boys team finished first out of sixteen. The girls finished second out of twelve. Sophomore Luke Scandlyn finished fourth, junior Scott Macdonald finished ninth, and sophomore Cameron Plume finished 11th. The boys team had an overall score of 54. The girls finished with an overall score of 71, losing to the Aragon team, which scored 65 points. Freshman Lena Kalotihos placed eighth, sophomore Sara Osterberg placed 12th, and junior Olivia Shane placed 15th.

Varsity teammates Olivia Shane and Anna Leake run in PAL competition.
Varsity teammates Olivia Shane and Anna Leake run in PAL race.

The boys team finished third in the team’s second PAL competition of the season on Wednesday, October 12, with Scandlyn placing first overall. The girls also finished third, with Anna Leake and Kalotihos leading the team. Leake placed 10th and Kalotihos earned sixth place. Perry commented, “Anna Leake, who is a sophomore, has broken out to be a very important runner on the team.”

Sophomore Luke Scandlyn placed first in the latest PAL competition.
Sophomore Luke Scandlyn placed first in the latest PAL race.

The Bears have struggled in some of the season’s early races. Perry explained, “Our biggest problem is inconsistency. We’ve seen some good performances, but it hasn’t been as consistent as we’d like to see it. Hopefully we can figure that out in the last two to three meets of the season coming up.”

Before the championship race, M-A has one more PAL meet, which takes place at Crystal Springs on Thursday, October 27. Perry said, “In the last week or two, we’ve seen some encouraging results… much better than we’ve been in our previous meets.” Both the girls and boys hope to have runners heal from injury who will be be ready to compete for the league championship, where the girls will attempt to capture their sixth consecutive PAL title.

John is a senior at M-A in his second year writing for the M-A Chronicle. He enjoys writing mostly sports stories but may venture into some other topics. He looks forward to having a good senior year and graduating in the spring.

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