Cross country team hosts Twilight meet

Building a family bond throughout their season, the cross country teams are able to feel supported by each other as they chase success. Their team spirit was highlighted during the Twilight invitational.

By creating a strong connection within their teams, the cross country runners motivated each other through team spirit for their special home invitational, the fall-themed Twilight Invitational, which took place on September 24.
The Twilight Invitational was held at the high school’s home course.
During the event, Souderton hosted teams from the surrounding area where runners competed in a fall themed 5K run.
Sophomore Tannor Wiszneski said that runners and coaches feel that the bonds and relationships within their teams help to motivate them for big events like this.
According to girls cross country head coach David Klein, the team has a friendship dynamic.
“[The girls] are some of the kindest people in the building, and every year it’s always a close knit group,” Klein said.
These feelings are also held by varsity runner Madhura Dahale.
“I really like the team. It’s like a family and we all just like to cheer each other on,” Dahale said. “I’m really there for the people.”
Before the Twilight Invitational, the teams supported and bonded with each other through a pasta party and decorating the course with Halloween-spirit. According to Dahale, these outside of practice activities are what help them bond.
“We’re definitely closer with pasta parties,” Dahale said. “We have fun that way.”
According to members on the team, spending time during meets and practices helps to strengthen team bonds.
“We love competing with each other and doing workouts, pacing each other, we just love all of that,” Wiszneski said.
While some may believe that cross country is an individual sport, the runners express the importance of a team environment and how the support helps them in races.
“I feel like cross country definitely has one of the strongest bonds,” varsity runner James Kuduk said. “People think it’s an individual sport but it’s really the team aspect that is one of the most important parts.”
Boys coach Jim Stevenson also feels that a close bond and support within the team contributes to the runners success. Stevenson believes he does his best to push and support the boys himself but recognizes the importance of “building a brotherhood within the team.”
Assistant girls coach Melissa Madden believes how much support there is within the girls team is important for their success.
“We might have a girl who comes in at the end but there is always the team right there even though they just all ran too,” Madden said.
For the Twilight Invitational, specifically, the runners and coaches feel that the support of their teammates helped them throughout the invitational because it is always an anticipated event.
According to Madden, she feels that there is a difference between a big invitational such as the Twilight event compared to a regular meet. This is because there are more competitors for runners to keep up with, “versus mentally trying to push” in a thinner crowd of runners.
Varsity runner Rachel Schewe finds excitement in getting to run on her home course.
“They call it home-field advantage for a reason,” Schewe said. “You just know your course.”
Spectators and parents were able to come and support the runners throughout the course.
Schewe also said that Twilight is an exciting event that the runners look forward to each year.
“I think for Twilight, obviously it’s a really important race, but I think it is for me especially since it’s my senior year,” Schewe said. “Everyone just loves Twilight because it’s just special and it’s just fun.