Support was shown throughout the cross-country season

Rebekka+Olson%2C+10%2C+chalks+the+course+at+Heritage+High+School+to+show+her+team+support.

Elizabeth Beagle

Rebekka Olson, 10, chalks the course at Heritage High School to show her team support.

Elizabeth Beagle, Editor

Every year in the fall, a handful of students sign up for a season of running that will test their speed, stamina and agility. Like any other sport, cross-country athletes appreciate anything that will motivate them to perform better.  

“We’ll sit on the sidelines and scream out distances and times and tell them to ‘GO, GO, GO,’” Kaitlyn Clawson, 10, said.

As soon as an athlete recovers from their race, they would hurry back to the course to cheer on their teammates. Encouraging their own teammates as well as others runners, people lined up along the course ringing bells and shouting encouragement.

“I would cheer them on to make sure that they would have confidence, so that they can run to their best ability,” Lindsey Purdham,10, said.

Lindsey Purdham, 10, and Rilee Britton, 10, draw messages of support before the runners run by.
Elizabeth Beagle
Lindsey Purdham, 10, and Rilee Britton, 10, draw messages of support before the runners run by.

The amount of support that poured out across each cross-country meet was always at its peak and school identity played a small factor in how other runners viewed each other. At each meet, all athletes ran the same course and the same distance. The meets could be seen a type of equalizer between athletes because each runner was feeling the same pain and stress of the 5K.

“I cheer for them because I want them to do well. It’s a race against yourself not anyone else, and we’re all suffering through the same three miles,” Erika Hartel, 9, said.

Most forms of cheering are in the form of sound whether it is a bell ringing or all out screaming. However, when there is a chance to show support in a unique way, the team will usually take it.

At the Liberty Bell Invitational meet, teammates were allowed to ‘chalk’ the course when there were no runners on the course. Runners would write short messages that meant something to a certain runner or general phrase that would be sure get attention and motivate everyone.

“When I can see the support, I feel motivated to run faster for the team,” Madison Hwang-King, 10, said.

Whether nervous or exhausted, the athletes tried their best to send out as much encouragement and motivation possible toward other racers.

“It is really nice to hear the team cheering for you,” Hwang-King said. “It lets you know that you have their support.”

Lindsey Purdham, Rilee Britton and Riley Harra finish their last drawings before cheering on their teammates.
Elizabeth Beagle
Lindsey Purdham, Rilee Britton and Riley Harra finish their last drawings before cheering on their teammates.