Cross Country Conditioning Pays off Approaching Championship Season


The time before the race is the most daunting. As the runners warm up, all they can think about is the race before them. The players show up early to stretch, warm-up, and run before the race to get into a groove. “It’s a process to clear the lactic acid out of the system,” Head Coach Frederick Goodman said, “It’s a vital part of warm ups if the runners want to do well.” As the time before the race dwindles, nerves start to creep up, and butterflies appear in stomachs and doubt takes over. As you line up to start, everyone is crowded and jockeying for a good starting spot, when the gun goes off. People are flying all around as they slowly spread out and the race begins.

This past meet on October, 13 was Hewett day was a big step for the Wyverns. With multiple runners setting their personal bests on the home course, it sadly wasn’t enough to pull out a win against Pomfret School. Although the Wyverns didn’t win, they are determined to win their next meets against  Williston Northampton and then the Founders League Championship. They are entering a part of the season called the championship section. This is the most important part of the season. With long practices in all conditions, the Wyverns are prepared for anything.

The boys are a fairly young team this year. With only three seniors, some of younger runners are going to have to step up. This puts the Wyverns at a disadvantage, but with hard work and continuing to run as hard as they can, nobody can match them. Senior leadership and mentoring has allowed everyone to get better. “I love the senior leadership on the team this year,” Coach Goodman said. “The seniors are always helping the younger kids with their technique.” This good team environment has also allowed some younger runners to really progress and become a key part of the team. Junior Elan Stadelmann has been running very hard in practice and in meets. He has set himself apart from the rest of the pack as a hard worker and a passionate runner who is a force to reckon with.

Along with Stadelmann, freshman Kevin Graziosi had been a surprising and new contributor to the Wyverns success. His fresh and vibrant energy along with his skills are helping the Wyverns a lot. This amazing progress is due to the hard and intense practices the runners go through every day. It starts with a warm up of static and dynamic stretching. Followed by strength training. This consists of different body weight exercises like pushups, sit-ups, and squats. Finally, the running portion of the practice starts. The work out changes every day, but normally it consists of long distance running, speed work, or running hills said Coach Goodman.

Overall, the Wyverns are hard working, dedicated, and passionate for running. This energy along with the practices and workouts designed by Coach Goodman and assistant coach Alexander Hoerman, the Wyverns will be a dominant force. The Wyverns are going to the Founder League Championship on Saturday Oct.r 27, followed by the New England championship on Saturday, Nov. 3.

As for the girls, they too had a meet against Pomfret School this past Hewett day. Their dedication and hard running sadly wasn’t enough to pull out a win. “Even though we don’t always come out on top,” Head Coach Tricia Watson said, “ we continue to have a drive and determination to win no matter what happens.” Even though they didn’t win, they are looking ahead to their next meet at the founder league championship. This meet is an important one seeing that schools all over the state will come and compete against the Wyverns. This meet will not be a walk in the park, so serious training and hard work will be needed in order to win said coach Watson. There practices are very similar to the boys. They start with a mix of static and dynamic stretching, followed by a warm up run. Finally, they real practice begins with a mix of speed work, long distance running, and other conditioning exercises. The Wyverns are in the same situation as the boys. With only four seniors, many young runners are needed if the Wyverns want to succeed.

“We are seeing a lot of our younger runners,” Coach. Watson said, “ Sophomore Jaden Paladino and Freshman Olivia Reynolds have really stepped up this year.” This is true; Paladino has really stepped it up this year. With training everyday in and outside of school, she has really perfected her run and is getting better every day. This is also the same with Reynolds. Reynolds is new to the sport of cross country, but has consistently set goals every week and continues to break them as she lowers her personal best. These younger runners have been able to succeed due to team bonding and the seniors contributing their time to help younger runners with form and technique. “If it wasn’t for the seniors taking their time to help the younger runners, we wouldn’t be where we are right now” said Coach Watson.

The Wyverns are becoming better and better everyday and will soon be a dominant force in the cross country world. As their new runners develop and hone their skills, with the intense practices and workouts designed by Coach Watson and assistant coach Natalie Lynd, there is nothing stopping them. There next meet is the Founders league on Saturday, Oct. 27, followed by the New England Championship on Saturday, Nov. 3.