Cross country athletes run for fun in annual Twilight Invitational

Through self-determination and support from their teammates, cross country runners pushed through adversity to achieve personal success.

Hoping to set a personal record, Souderton Cross Country athletes, including boys and girls from grades 9-12, ran in Souderton’s annual Twilight Invitational held on October 5.
In the end, Central Bucks East won the boys varsity side of the invitational with Souderton earning fifth place. Council Rock North won the girls varsity side with Souderton again placing fifth overall.
Even though Souderton did not secure a top finish at the invitational, boys cross country coach John Donahue is satisfied with the effort they made. “I’m proud of our team just because they went out there and did their best,” Donahue said.
According to Donahue the invitational was all about, “having a good time.”This was on display at the invitational where hay bale jumps were set up in a couple of places throughout the course.
Runners on the sidelines often participated in the only way they could, by cheering on their teammates and shouting words of encouragement as they ran by.
The fun-based mentality of cross country also applies to practices, according to sophomore Devon Maue.
“We like to play a lot of games, hang out, and just have fun,” Maue said.
Maue also said the fun experiences that the team has at their pasta parties help add to team chemistry and create a bond among most members of the team.
Members of both the boys and girls cross country teams, “Just try to run their best race,” according to sophomore Tatianna Velicer. However, “mental toughness,” is also a huge part of running in cross country races Maue said.
“When you’re out on the course in the woods, the only thing keeping you going is that mentality and toughness that we’ve been building over the course of the season,” Maue said. “Cross country might be one of the toughest sports there is, just because of how mentally and physically tough you have to be to succeed.”
As well as being tough on the mind, cross country is also tough on the body according to Velicer. “ I get out of bed at five o’clock almost every morning to go on a run,” Velicer said.
“It helps me stay in shape and it probably helps my times as well.” Going to practices and working hard the whole time can really make a difference according to Maue.
“That’s probably something I need to do better,” Maue said.
According to Maue, most of the team is still young and inexperienced, which means they have a lot of room to grow in the coming years.
“If everyone keeps improving their times I can see us becoming more of a threat in years to come,” Maue said.
Donahue is also confident in the boys cross country team and thinks every runner on the team can get better for next year’s season.