Cross Country Teams Shine at State

Girls finish 2nd; Boys finish 7th

With the girls varsity finishing 2nd and boys varsity 7th in the Division 2 State Meet, the 2013 Notre Dame Cross Country season has ended.

Despite the chilly weather that was present at the state meet in Wisconsin Rapids, both of Notre Dame Academy’s Cross Country teams earned the best team score ever and place in their history.

“We are blessed to have so many great NDA students choose cross country and work so hard at this challenging sport,” said John Gard, the team’s head coach.

“Our girls team gave it their all and despite difficulty, managed to still take an impressive second place,” said Anna Patterson, a sophomore varsity runner. “It wasn’t what we hoped for, but we’re still happy.”

Sophomore Brian Hansford said, “Both teams were very excited to have the opportunity to run at state this year; you realize how lucky you are to have the opportunity to compete at the state level for your team and to represent your school as well.”

The team’s motto this year was “It’s Much More than Running!”

“We believe our team and this experience lived up to that motto. We run together, we train together and we pray together,” said Gard.

In a team of 130 plus runners, it may seem like an overwhelming number of people, but just about every runner would have to say that it feels like one big family.

“My favorite part about cross country is how much of a family we are. No matter what, we have each other’s backs. We will always be there for someone. As a team, we keep each other going,” said Beau Bellmore, a sophomore runner.

“I love how it’s a family,” said Patterson.

“I highly recommend joining cross country! It’s a lot of fun and you meet a ton of people. We are all like a family,” said sophomore runner, Veronica Letter.

The cross country program invites all runners – fast or not.

Gard believes in success as a team and during practice, everyone trains in groups that they also race with. It’s a strategy to place higher, but more importantly improve as a team runner.

“Everyone is welcome in this sport. It’s a lot more than just an individual sport. The team is really close and every person is important,” said Hansford.

“Once you join, you’ll be glad you did,” said Hansford.

“Have fun with [cross country] and always work hard in practice because it’s worth it,” Patterson advised.

“If you put your time in and do put your best foot forward, you will be rewarded,” said Bellmore.

Even outside of daily after-school practice, some team members ran in the mornings and on weekends. If it was not running, the team pasta dinners were another chance to build community.

“I believe we have a program that offers something for everyone and has great chemistry, fun and character development,” said Gard. “If you are looking for a challenging experience that builds your strength, your closeness to God, your friendships and improves your health, this is the program for you!”