because you get out of it what you put into it."
The way scoring in cross country works is actually quite simple. The score of the top five runners on every team is added up and the team with the lowest score wins, the score of the top five runners on each team is simply the place each runner comes in. So, if a team has places 1-5 they have a score of 15, the lowest score possibly. We had set our sights on this perfect score in this meet, to put a cherry on top of our ice cream Sunday of an undefeated season.
As I moved swiftly through the trees and up the first hill, I could tell this was going to be a great race. I kept up with the lead group for a few minutes, waiting for who I thought was the Pike runner to fall behind. Eventually I looked and saw that it was not a Pike runner but a Fenn runner. I slowed a bit and ran with him for the next mile or so of the course. Something I find really helpful in cross country is to run with someone. It doesn't matter if they are on your team or not. I remember in one race I got off to a bad start, but kept passing people because of my strategy. Instead of trying to keep a solid, fast pace, what I did was sprint up to a person and then recuperate as I ran alongside them. Then sprint up to the next person and continue the cycle.
As I came out of the woods, near a pond on the cross country course, I could tell I was going to have a good race because I had kept up my pace and remained in the top group. Finally, I emerged at the road, the home stretch. I looked over my shoulder and saw no one behind me. I sped up for the last part of the race. I ran across the street and around the field, ragged breath tore at my core as I put on a final burst of speed and raced down the final straight away. I sped past the finish line, finally clenching fifth place as my own. We had accomplished our goal! We had a perfect game! But the fun wasn't over, we still had a tailgating party.