St. John’s XC: Racing toward rings

The cross country team is back in action this fall. (Photo by Anna Cestari ’19)

The SJC cross country team is back for another amazing season.

The senior captains are Daniel Beck, Rob Hickmott, Annie Hagerty, Sara Miller, Emma Farrell, and Anna Cestari. These captains were elected to help lead their team to victory, and so far, they’re doing a great job.

The first realization came two weeks ago, when the boys’ team broke a St. John’s losing streak against Landon. Beck believes this is just the beginning of a record-breaking season. “In my four years on the team, we have never gotten first place. This year, however, we secured first place finishes with four of our teams.”

After this victory, the main question is: what changed? Beck attributes the victory to the “new energy in the locker room” and a “new and improved coaching staff.” Landon is a major rivalry for SJC cross country, and Beck said that it felt good to finally “put the previous losses to bed and welcome a winning tradition.”

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Cross country team captains Daniel Beck ’19 and Annie Hagerty ’19 are confident in the team’s chances this season. (Photo by Jack Cooper ’19)

This weekend, the team will receive a well-deserved break in Orlando. Qualifying athletes are headed to the Sunshine State to compete in a nationwide race. Even though this is mainly a business trip, Beck says the runners will have time to relax. “We’re going to stop by Disney World for a couple of days just to unwind; it’ll be an experience to remember.”

While most of team is looking forward to Disney World, captain Annie Hagerty is looking farther down the line to an event that could bring her four years on the team to a great finish. “Every year that I’ve been on the team, we have gone to the championship. We haven’t always won, but we have always placed.” After sweeping Landon for the first time, Hagerty hopes the team can do it again in the finals. “Our team is really together this year, the best way to end my final season at SJC is with a W.”

Every team across every sport has several rivalries. Besides Landon, the cross country team always looks to beat Bishop O’Connell and Gonzaga. “They’re really good this year. For the girls, our number one threat is O’Connell, and for the boys, the threat is Gonzaga.” Although these teams are good, Hagerty is staying optimistic: “We’ve been preparing for months; this team is confident. I’m sure that we will walk away from the championship race with rings.”

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