Bemidji Cross Country Hits the Ground Running
The first week of the high school sports season in Bemidji has come and gone, but the cross country has been putting in the miles all summer long. Those long runs are crucial to make sure the team hits the ground running when the season starts.
“It’s super important to build up our endurance and get ready for the season,” says junior Kayla Dewitt. “We do 10-mile Saturdays and lots of runs to get ready.”
Today was the team’s annual two-mile time trial, which creates a race time atmosphere to break things up.
“It’s really good because we finally get to get our legs moving, get the tempo under our legs, and then when we have our first race we’ll be able to keep the same pace hopefully,” says junior Gwen Youso.
It’s also a great way to gauge how the team is shaping up heading into the year.
“It was a solid effort out of both the boys and girls,” says head coach Ryan Aylesworth. “I was very happy. It kind of shows what I was thinking that the team was in pretty good shape. They’ve had a good summer and I’m excited to see how the season unfolds for us.”
“Today we did pretty good as a team,” says junior Gage Mostad. “We had four guys up where we’ve never had before.”
For the boys team, it’s all about depth and competition this year.
“We have a really deep team this year,” says senior Riley Berg. “We have a lot of guys really close together, competing with each other, so it’s going to be fun to see how it all pans out.”
“We’d like to have a few of us in the top 10 individually, and definitely want to win the section championship,” says Mostad.
And for the girls, it’s about replacing strong graduated runners, including six-time state competitor Sadie Hamrin.
“We’ve lost a few super-fast people, but I think everyone’s pushing this year to get faster,” says Dewitt.
“We have a few freshmen that are really stepping up their game, and it’s really good to see them progress,” says Youso. “They keep us going because we don’t want them to catch us, so that’s always good, and we’re always there trying to lead the way and hoping to be faster.”
The team begins their season in Moorhead on Monday, August 27.