Girls’ Cross Country Trip to Covenant Point: A Season of Bonding and Rebuilding

     The girls’ cross country team has always been strong and represented Fenwick well, with winning 4th in state in 2019, 5th in state and finishing as conference champions in 2011. The girls have also had six All-State graduates since 2013. The team has had a good year despite it being slightly different from years past. For this team, their season has been a rebuilding one. 

     Assistant coach Br. Trout commented, “Last year, many talented seniors graduated. Quite a few people have been pushing themselves to run varsity. They have been pushing themselves to fill the graduates’ big shoes and their hard work has definitely shown up.” Like other sports teams, the girls’ season last year wasn’t a normal season. Lizzie Brunick described the last year as “separated” and Maddie Rogowski added that “The races were a lot smaller and we would only race two teams at meets.” Fortunately, this year, the team started to get back to normalcy. Rogowski said, “Our meets were bigger this year and it was definitely more competitive.” As well as competitiveness, many friendships were also built up and some preexisting ones were strengthened. Brunick said, “I didn’t know any of the juniors, but this year, I know a lot of them because of the week spent at the Covenant Point trip.

     The Covenant Point trip was a week in the summer when the girls would take a bus and do team bonding activities and get ready for their season. For example, the team ran obstacle courses together and did activities like trying to get the whole team across a log. Last year, none of the girls were able to go, but this year, the coaches were lucky enough to take whoever wanted to go. What was unique about this trip was that many girls were able to go and get to know each other better. Rogowski said, “What was really different from last year was how connected the team was and the Covenant Point trip. Last year, I wasn’t able to go, but this year I went and I was so grateful for the experience. During the trip, the team had so much fun with team bonding activities, and running, of course.” From the outside looking in, cross country might seem like an individual sport. The players are running their own races and trying to reach their own personal bests. But Br. Trout makes the case that while you might be running on your own, it is the team that helps you run faster. He said, “Cross country is a funny sport. The runners might seem like they’re on their own, but what comes from creating that culture where you help one another dig deep is anything but individual. Cross country is one of the sports where you are able to talk a ton and building friendships is key. To develop team chemistry is when the entire team starts clicking and getting to know each other, and that’s really important.” 

     As for strong training, these workouts definitely have definitely benefited the team. “Strong training built up confidence and gave me a sense of readiness for the season,” said Rogowski. Brunick agreed that it “builds confidence“ and “prepares not just me but the whole team.” As a coach, Br. Trout also thought it helped the girls. “Cross country can be a really hard sport,” he said. “It is mentally demanding and you have to keep pushing yourself to keep running. Weight lifting builds a toughness where you can feel miserable but you’re able to keep going.” With both strong training and the Covenant Point trip, the team was confident, well prepared, and took on the season like true Friars. The girls competed at regionals on October 23 with high anticipation of doing well!