XC is growing almost as fast as they are running


Gabrielle Parrish, Sports Editor

This year, Liberty’s Cross Country team hit a record-breaking 83 members. Senior captain Haley Archer attributes this to the growing appreciation for the sport.
“Cross Country is really fun,” Archer said. “It’s an incredible sport, and it’s something that anyone can do no matter how fast you are or how long you run.”
Of course, having a bigger team has its challenges. Buses cost more, trail runs can be more crowded, and it’s more difficult for everyone to bond in the same way that a small team would.
“It’s hard to keep track of everybody and it’s harder to really get to know everyone,” senior captain Jenna Long said.
But, on the other hand, having more people is exciting and strengthens the team.
“Everyone comes from really different places in the school, so you get to meet people that you don’t usually meet, which has been a lot of fun,” Archer said. Having a larger team also takes the stress off of individuals. There are more people vying for varsity so if one runner is unable to race, there are plenty of others ready to step up to the plate.
“If somebody gets injured, it’s not that crazy of a thing,” Long said.
According to Archer, the team dynamic has drastically changed not just because the team has grown, but also because the underclassmen greatly outnumber the upperclassmen. Out of the 83 members, only 10 are seniors.
Additionally, according to head coach Steve Eggers, Maywood’s Cross Country team has a massive 203 members this year, which means that (given the sport’s reputation for committed runners) Liberty’s team will continue to grow in size—a fact that many team members see as a positive thing.
“There are always more people to meet and more people to run with,” Archer said.
Aside from its size, the team is proud of their dedication and talent.
“We’re gonna do really well this season. I think we’re going to get top five at state—at least,” Long said.