Eagle Harriers Kick Toward Season Finish

Cross Country might seem like an individual sport.

But Stratford harriers train with and support each other throughout the season, running side by side in both practices and races.

“Even though it’s an individual sport, it’s also a team sport because you’re with a group of people and what you do affects other people,” said boys cross country coach Ian Hayley, who is in his first year coaching at Stratford. “People don’t realize how difficult cross country is because its just running.”

Varsity Cross Country Boys Team
The 2013 Boys Varsity Cross Country Team

As both the boys and girls teams enter the final month of their season, both are still hungry to shave a few more seconds off their times before the Region 2AAA Meet at the Macon’s Children’s Home on Wednesday Oct. 16.

Last Wednesday, the girls took 4th and the boys took 6th at the Cavalier Clash, hosted by Mount De Sales Academy.

“It’s a new course and nobody knows what it is. Even the Mount de Sales people haven’t run it yet,” Hayley said last week before the meet.

For the girls, who are defending state champions, it was a disappointing finish and their weakest placement of the season.

But the girls have done well in their other meets. They outpaced the competition in their second meet at Southland, placing first. The team also came in second at the Blue and Gold Challenge and took third at both the Stratford Invitational and the Covenant meet at the Children’s Home.

Girls Coach Ginny Reeves said the girls continue to improve themselves daily by “getting in a bunch of miles and working on speed work on the track.” Reeves said that for her, cross country is all about “watching them work hard, and when the team does well it’s rewarding.”

The 2013 Girls Varsity Cross Country Team
The 2013 Girls Varsity Cross Country Team

The boys have competed in three other meets this season. They placed in sixth in their first two meets against Tattnall and at the Stratford Invitational. The team also finished in third at Covenant’s meet.