The Cross Country Seniors Wrap it up at Districts


The Poland Seminary High School Cross Country team is always home to some amazing athletes. This year as the Class of ‘22 finishes out their final high school cross country season at the District Meet on October 23rd, they reflect back on their time with the team.

Reflecting on his time at his final district meet, senior Andrew Biggs, says it was “super sad. I have had my best performances in both track and cross country at the district meets. I was on the verge of tears at the start of my race. I got emotional when I realized this would be my second-to-last time running a district meet in a Poland jersey.”

Similarly, senior Ellen Ethridge shares: “It was very emotional because I love the sport and my team so much, but it is always special to be able to run at such a big meet!”

Senior Emiliy Denney says, “Incredible honestly. I hadn’t actually run at districts since freshman year due to injuries so I was glad to have the opportunity this year.”

The last senior who ran at districts has made incredible strides this year to allow her to improve constantly. Senior Lydia Noble states, “This race was especially rewarding because I ran a lifetime PR at my last race ever. It was great!”

Four out of the six seniors on the team were able to run at the district meet, and they all shared stories of their time on the team and what cross country really means to them. 

Denney says that her favorite part of her senior season was “the bonds I’ve forged with my teammates this year. Watching the younger girls step into new roles and absolutely kill it was incredible. I became closer with people I hadn’t gotten a chance to run with in previous years. I think while not necessarily being my most “successful” season, it will be the one I hold onto.”

This year, both the boys and girls teams had an incredible bond. The seniors lead the pack by example, and set up the traditions and practices for the younger grades to carry out once they graduate. 

Biggs looks to the future of the team he holds in high regards: “My season isn’t over yet, but the underclassman definitely made this year special. We had an outstanding, young group of guys this year. I don’t think you could find a single person on the team that didn’t have fun at the practices and meets week-in and week-out. With the current squad, next year’s freshman, and Logan’s leadership, I’m thinking Poland can expect another state trip next season.”

Noble emphasizes the importance of what cross country means to her: “Spending time with the rest of the team; cross country has always been such a positive environment for me and the people on the team are what I will cherish most looking back.”

Similarly, Ethridge states her best memory from her senior season: “My favorite part of senior year was being crazy with my friends at every practice.”

Cross country is a really unique sport. It is individualized, you run on your own. But, you are running for the team. So even though you are putting in your own work and effort, it still counts for the team.

Many runners on high school teams look to the future of running. Will our seniors be running in college? Running recreationally? 

Collectively, the PSHS cross country seniors have all decided that running will still be a big part of their lives, whether or not they make the decision to run for a college cross country team. They all value the importance of running and want to keep up with it. 

A few of the seniors wanted to share their insight on what exactly, cross country means to them and how it has impacted their lives throughout the years. 

Biggs shares: “This sport changed my life. There is nothing more satisfying than being able to look back at my personal records, and reflect upon how hard I’ve worked, and how much I’ve progressed. Running is the perfect escape from the stresses that come with being a student, and it’s nice that it keeps me in shape too. I hope all my teammates stick with cross country until their senior year (I promise it will be rewarding), and that the students of PSJSHS continue to cheer them on.”

Ethridge states: “Cross country helped me find my closest friends, and it helped me discover more about myself. It is such a mental sport. Each race is just your brain, your legs, and the ground, so you have to learn how to keep pushing through the hard times. I have been able to carry over the mentality from cross country into my everyday life.”

Denney says: “You will never find a community like cross country. Not only are our coaches incredibly supportive, but there is room for any kind of runner. There is no other sport where your teammates and people from other schools will cheer for you whether you are winning, or in the back of the crowd. Cross country isn’t only about success. Running is a very individual activity, and I think that everyone has the opportunity to grow individually from it.” 

As a cross country senior myself, I am very thankful for the chance to be able to gain insight from my teammates. And to capture their progress and growth over the years as I write about their successes for the Seminarian has been incredible. 

I have had the best time with the cross country team and I hope to continue the bonds, relationships, traditions, and progress I have made with running cross country throughout my entire life. 

I am so thankful for the opportunity to write about my incredible teammates, coaches, and team. If you are thinking about joining the cross country team, definitely do it.