What Makes NDA Cross Country So Successful?


Kylie Callaway, Staff Writer, Advanced Journalism

This year, the Notre Dame cross country team has gone far.  This weekend both the boys and the girls varsity squads are competing at state in Wisconsin Rapids.

Winning the FRCC meet and Kiel sectional was not only a team effort but also an individual battle. Team members encourage each other, and that is what makes the cross county team unique. You do not only push your team at the meets but at practices as well. In the end, the scores are a team as individuals run as one. 

There are difficult factors when it comes to cross country. One of the worst things is running by yourself. There is no one person that you can try and race, and usually there is no one around for moral support. 

“The cross country team has grown closer because all four teams won, so it brought the JV and varsity teams together. We ran separate races, but we all supported and cheered for everyone racing. It was good to have a commonality between the teams to help us bond,” said Camille Broullire.

“We are trying to win WIAA state for the first time in school history. It would be a great finish to the season for all runners and especially Conner Hawley who has been working hard to get to the win since his freshman year. The girls varsity is also looking to do well,” said Issac Nowak. 

Cross country is different from other sports. Everyone is able to participate and advance. In the end, every single individual gets a PR (personal record). In order to do this, you have to train differently than any other sport and in order to do this, a person has to change their mindset. 

Cross country’s goal is to get as many students involved and make everyone feel part of a team. As the year progresses, friendships form and the team begins to mold as a whole. 

“I think with any program we have at Notre Dame Academy it is important to provide a special and meaningful experience playing a specific sport. Cross country is just as important as any other sport, in my opinion,” said Athletic Director Matt Koenig. “But cross country doesn’t get the credit they deserve. You can watch football, basketball, soccer, and volleyball on television, but you cannot watch a cross country meet on TV. Media coverage for cross country meets isn’t the same as other sports. But the athletes work just as hard preparing for their events as any other sport. Not every athlete can kick a ball, shoot a ball or be able to play a sport like football, but most can run.” 

“Our coaching staff does a great job of promoting a sport that is inviting to every student at NDA. It doesn’t matter if you are the fastest runner or the slowest runner, our coaches still make you feel as if you are a meaningful member of a program. Having a successful running program impacts the whole school just like having successful soccer, football and basketball teams. We are all one community at NDA; it doesn’t matter your interests or the sport you play. The cross country program is one piece of the successful opportunities that we offer,” continued the athletic director.

There are two individuals that have made an amazing appearance this year. Senior Anna Gruesen just started running this year. At the beginning of the season, she encountered some problems, but in the end, she is one of the best runners on the team.

 Jackson Fogarty has put a lot of effort into this year. Last year he injured himself and would have made varsity. This year, Jackson has made that dream come true. 

Finally, another major asset to the team is Conner Hawley. He has been working hard since freshman year and helps to form the team atmosphere.  

Coach Amanda Aruricchio has advice for the varsity runners: “Stick to the plan.  You have put the work in throughout the season, stay calm, and stick to the plan we have for each runner.” 

State is hard, but if anyone can accomplish state, it is the cross country team. They put in a lot of effort and have formed strong friendships. Cross country has made a difference for many individuals, and it is a sport like no other.