Why More People Should Come to Cross Country Meets

Megan Krummrey, Staff Writer

On Saturday, September 25, I attended the Celtic Clash Cross Country Meet at Dublin Jerome High School. As someone who does not run, I have some thoughts.

Sophomore Lucas White during the Boys Varsity race. (Photo taken by Megan Marling)

To start, I did not want to go to this meet, which I think is important to note. I know a few people who run for the high school, but overall, I was unenthused about attending. I picked up this article for a friend who had a scheduling conflict, and was expecting to suffer through the meet, write the article, and forget about it forever. But, I was pleasantly surprised when I got there.

 

One of the most noticeable things was the atmosphere. Since there were so many schools at the meet, the crowds were gigantic. This definitely contributed to the overall feeling of the meet. The energy was palpable and everyone’s enthusiasm was contagious. People were decked out in a combination of school gear and neon/glow in the dark. This was a little unusual for cross country meets, because this was a night meet, which is not usual for cross country. Groups of people running warm up or cool down laps crossed my path constantly. The food trucks present supplied the  tacos, snow cones, and bags of kettle corn sprinkled throughout the crowd. People were laughing, cheering, and yelling with their friends and teammates. But the real excitement started with the races.

Sophomore Helena O’Connor, Freshman Sarah Malone, and Sophomore Mattie Shoemaker during the Girls Open race (Photo taken by Megan Marling)

 

As soon as the gun goes off, signalling the start of the race, the crowd goes crazy. The screams are a deafening, jumbled mess of names and schools being yelled, combined with just plain yelling. You can’t even hear yourself honestly, making you want to scream louder. After four races, I had completely lost my voice. Especially at the beginning when all of the runners are in one large pack and haven’t had time to separate yet, it is

pure chaos. And before you know it, it’s time to go to the next spot.

 

Attending a cross country meet is a workout in itself. Parents and long-time spectators know exactly where the best places to catch the runners are, and everyone else just follows. When following these people, you need to be prepared to run. These people will not wait for you, or worry about getting you a spot to view as well. They will find you at the destination. That’s not to say these aren’t nice people, they are just passionate about their viewing experience. I ended up following a group of family friends, and it was so much fun. We were able to talk and laugh while waiting for the runners, and I can say that watching a race with people you know is definitely much more fun. There is something exhilarating about running across

a soccer field in the dark, vying for that best spot to watch your friends run. You don’t have time to dwell on that feeling though, because by the time you’ve caught your breath, you’re moving to the next spot, and before you know it, you’re at the end of the race.

 

The ending of a cross country race described in one word would be chaotic. This is the point in the race when everyone is using all their stored up energy, and by everyone I mean the runners, but also the fans. The announcer at this particular meet had an abundance of energy and whether the runner is 1st or 50th, they are going to be cheered for. Everyone is screaming and celebrating their team, and overall it just feels like one big party. This race ends on the track, meaning that the people are packed on the bleachers and the surrounding fences, creating a circle of support for everyone finishing their races. And by the time you’ve finished congratulating your team, it’s time to start all over again for the next race.

Senior Jessica Kelley and Junior Kate Curtiss (left to right) during the Girls Open race. (Photo taken by Megan Marling)

 

 

I had a ton of fun at the cross country meet, but was disappointed to see the lack of student support. While when I got there I wasn’t sure what it was going to be like, and I didn’t really think I was going to like it. I was pleasantly surprised. Then I began to think, had I not come to this meet today, I would have probably never gone to a cross country event. I realized that a lot of other JAHS students are probably in the same

boat. This meet was so much fun, but most students probably don’t know this. Everyone shows up for football, volleyball, and boys basketball games, but what about all the other sports? All these missed events are great, and no one seems to know what they’re missing out on. So, next time you have a free Saturday, try checking out the athletic schedule to see what’s happening.