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Jonah Charlton

Girls cross country running in the field house.

Girls cross country to take strides towards state

Last season, Beth Arey stepped into her role as the new girls’ cross country varsity head coach and during her first year, Arey guided the young team far into sectionals, setting personal records across the board. With a squad dominated by underclassmen, Arey emphasizes the team’s potential going into the fall.

“At the end of last season, a lot of our regular varsity runners stepped away for various reasons, so we didn’t have our full upper-class varsity team running in our top seven,” Arey says. “Our varsity seven consisted of [underclassmen] who will be returning.”

As senior co-captains, Sarah Polley, Isabel Rosenberg and Sidra Rustein hope to set the tone for the rest of the team and demonstrate that success can be achieved through good habits and consistency.

“Being a captain means highlighting that everyone brings value to the team [regardless of] their speed,” Polley says.

In addition to strengthening players’ fitness foundation, the pre-season served as an opportunity for the girls to connect with one another.

“We had a week-long running camp led by the coaches and for the [entirety] of the summer, we did captain-led runs every weekday at 6:30am,” Polley says. “We often jump in the lake or get breakfast after our runs, and we have volunteered in local running events, which has been a great way to get to know the team.”

Entering the season, Arey wants the girls to push beyond perceived barriers and strive for new heights.

“In the last couple of years, Stella Davis has been our leader in finishes,” Arey says. “Sammy Schuneman and Rory Malia have been this pair that runs stride for stride together, which has been really fun to watch. I think they’re going to have a breakout year and really challenge one another.”

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