The End of The Cross Country Season

Sophomore Riley Pickett running at Panther Creek in Morristown Tennessee
Sophomore Riley Pickett running at Panther Creek in Morristown Tennessee

     The 2023 cross-country season has come to an end. The Lenoir City Cross Country team finished the season out strong and one of the top runners Riley Pickett (10) shares his personal opinions on how this season went for him and the team.

     “Over the season we definitely got closer especially towards the end because we started traveling together from the meets as a group, but [the team chemistry] got better throughout the season,” Pickett said.

     Cross country is a sport where the teams travel across the region to compete at meets, which contain runners from several different schools around the area to collectively run a 5K. These races finally lead up to the regional meet which decides if the team or a certain runner on the team will be able to go to state.

 “Next season we are planning to go to Alabama to go to a showcase and we didn’t do that this year and I think I have a good shot at making state. I was the highest-finishing sophomore at the regional course so I’m pretty excited about that,” Pickett said.

     This year there were no seniors on the team so the juniors had to step in and become role models for these younger runners. As the juniors become seniors next year the team will definitely have more experience under their feet.

“I think the team will be stronger because we had zero seniors this year. Ryan Jandro is a junior and he is a really good runner so we will definitely be better next year,” Pickett said.

 Lots of future soccer players run cross country in order to stay in peak cardiovascular shape because the sport of soccer requires a lot of running.

“I think I will continue cross country to stay in shape for soccer because soccer is my main sport and cross country is just running so I plan on sticking with it,” Pickett said.

The team is slightly disappointed with this year’s race meets because they did not go to any far away race which they like because of the long bus rides as a team.

“This cross country season has been fun but I wish we traveled a little bit more because it was just local meets so there was nothing really special about the meets but it was still fun,” Pickett said.

Cross country is a special sport full of runners preparing to try to get their personal best time for the 5K and also to run well as a team. The team continues to train and prepare for the 2024 up-and-coming season!

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