Running Through the Tournament:

The Boys Cross Country Team prepares for the postseason.

“Our team goal is to podium at state, which is getting top 5, and despite a tough season, I have no doubt in my mind that we can still do it,” said Mitchell Curl.

It is the time of year for most fall sports to begin their championship season, and as that approaches, teams gear up to perform at their highest levels to accomplish the goals they have been working for all season.  Hazbun and Curl also spoke over the goals they hope to accomplish during the tournament.

Pre-race stretching: West Lafayette runners Harry Shook, 12, and Mitchell Curl, 12, get ready for their race at the start line. The team stretched for a very long time leading up to their race. “It is very important to stretch and get our bodies loose before the big race,” said Mitchell Curl.

“A big goal for our team this year is to win semi state. This will be very tough this year, because we lack a serious front-runner, but if our pack can move up well, then we are a very serious contender,” said Andre Hazbun.  

As these big meets draw closer the team will not stop their training, it will just be slightly adjusted.    

“As we near postseason, our mileage starts to go down. Throughout the regular season we run a lot of miles to keep our endurance up, but this usually makes our legs pretty tired, so we shorten our long runs a bit. Our speed-oriented workouts generally stay just as rigorous,” said Hazbun.

“The training stays relatively the same as big meets approach.  We believe in our training and our bodies’ ability to recover enough that we don’t have to change our game plan,” said Curl.  

Most athletes tend to grow very nervous as their big meets and races get closer.  There are four meets in the cross country championship season: sectionals, regionals, semi-state, and state.  Some of these meets provide courses, competitions, and atmospheres that make for great opportunities to run fast.  For some runners, there are particular meets that stand out, and for others, the tournament in general is what they love.  

“I personally love state the most. Tons of people are there, and it’s just a fun time, even if you aren’t running,” said Andre Hazbun.

“The most exciting part of championship season is getting the opportunity to race against the best in the state, be a part of something bigger than yourself, and try and accomplish something special with your best friends,” said Mitchell Curl.

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