A team who set a new standard for Newsome now has to keep up in the races

Newsome’s Boys Cross Country team is running to keep their title at states

Jillian Mauro, Sports Editor

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Last year, Newsome’s Boys Cross Country team achieved the goal of being ranked third in the state which was a first for the program. Varsity plans on continuing to make history and move up in the state rankings. The pressures are high for the boys team this year as they have holes to fill due to losing many senior teammates.

For the boys, the grind truly never stops as they have been training since summer. It was grueling training but it seems to be paying off for them. Its working well as the team dominated at the Land O’ Lakes Invitational with both the varsity and junior varsity teams coming in first in their respective races. The junior varsity team earned an almost perfect score of 17.

One of the captains, Chris Pinedo, is encouraging his team and trying to fill in those senior holes. “Holes are never filled because each person brings something unique, you keep the memory of your teammates and move on, focusing on who is currently on the team,” he states. The players filling those holes are having to understand the standard of being a top competitor in Florida.

As the team pursues states, encouragement by the captains, fellow teammates and Coach Sears is crucial. Many of the runners, view Coach Sears as the most encouraging person, both on and off the field. He puts a lot of effort into constructive criticism and his compliments. Pinedo says, “After every race he spends hours writing comments to his runner’s on what went good, what didn’t, and how to improve.”

Pinedo and Sears both like to use motivational sayings to help keep the morale of the team up. One of the captain’s sayings is, “Running is more of a mental sport than physical. Tell yourself you can push and run faster or longer, and you will.” It helps his teammates push themselves during a race and at practice to be more than a surface level athlete.

A focus the whole team has during races is keeping up with the top three of their runners. This year, there is a big gap between them and the other Varsity runners. Pinedo gave insight on the team’s practices and says that, “The other Varsity members have to focus on hanging on to guys one through three as long as possible during practice to bridge the gap.”

Coach Sears, Captain Pinedo and the other captains are working to motivate the team to rank higher in Florida. The team is continuously showing improvements throughout their meets as they bridge the gap between the teammates.

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