Cross Country implements hard cuts for the first time

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For the first time in the team’s history, the cross country team has made hard cuts due to complications with attendance and devotion in past seasons, according to coach Craig Blockhus.

The cuts were based around a two-mile time trial on the track. Blockhus then took the top 25 male runners and the top 25 female runners on the roster. He later added 19 runners to the roster who exemplified commitment to the team.

Blockhus also said he views these runners as individuals who are dedicated to improvement in their own skills and have a positive attitude.

“People are trying harder, we’re getting everyone to [training]which we weren’t able to do in past years, and overall I feel like we have a more committed team.”

Amber Fry 
Lowell Invite race. Photo by Craig Blockhus. 

Last year, Blockhus carried a roster of over 100 athletes which made it difficult for both Blockhus and other runners on the team.

“About 30 students we were carrying were just trying to get through the program for whatever reason,” Blockhus said, “and that ended up being at the detriment of the other runners.”

Due to the fact that Blockhus had to account for every athlete on his roster, he was having to look for runners who perhaps did not show up to practice or were not on the designated course for their runs. Doing this, Blockhus said, took away from his time to focus on athletes who were serious about improving their times.

The captains and Blockhus attempted to solve problems with attendance and devotion by sending a message to their team that an athlete would be dropped from the team if they failed to meet the basic CCS rules of cross-country.

The team runs drills at practice. Photo by Samantha Fong.

“[Per CCS rules] you had to come to three league meets and show up to practices,” senior and current captain Amber Fry said. “But people were still not following these [rules], so much to the fact that there was a need for cuts the next year.”

Blockhus also noted that the presence of cuts and the time trial resulted in fewer athletes actually trying out for the team. There were about 110 athletes registered for the cross country season, but only about 80 athletes actually showed up for the time trial.

Amber Fry, senior and captain, at a meet. Photo by Samantha Fong.

“I definitely think having the cuts makes cross-country less of a sport that’s just here for PE credits,” Fry said. “People are trying harder, we’re getting everyone to [training]which we weren’t able to do in past years, and overall I feel like we have a more committed team.”

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Samantha Fong

Samantha is a senior and is excited to take part in her fourth year of Oracle as the Opinions editor. In her free time, she enjoys playing lacrosse, hanging out with friends, and advertising her hatred for eggs.

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