Crossing the Finish Line

2022 Cross-Country Season


Cadence Brown, Staff Writer

The Charyl Stockwell fall Cross Country season has been very successful. During this season, they have competed in 15 challenging races that have demonstrated how outstanding their team truly is. Captain Raymond “Ford” Rogers says the boys’ team is one of the best, fastest, and most hardworking teams he has ever been a part of. While Cross Country is an individual sport, as a team, they practice about five days a week for about an hour and a half. As a result, they improve their speed, gain stamina, and build a community. In addition, they gather regularly as an athletic family to eat together and reflect on more than just their running careers. Members of the team say they can come together to discuss almost anything. As a result, they feel safe and supported at practices, allowing all athletes to thrive.

One of the team’s most victorious races was in Stockbridge, Michigan, at the beginning of October. Again, the Charyl Stockwell Academy athletes could use the course’s challenges to their advantage, and almost all athletes improved their time since their past races. Unfortunately, this season, they could not form a full girls’ team. However, they were able to continue motivating and supporting the women competing.

While the female athletes technically ran individually, freshman Ella Heffner says there was no shortage of motivation from her fellow athletes as a female on the team. Reese Twinn also states that “everyone is supportiveā€¦[and experienced runners] are always there to lift spirits, even though it is competitive.” They hope to be able to form a full girls’ team in the future but are satisfied with the success of the girls who worked hard this season.

Cross Country athletes advised beginning runners or anyone looking to participate in cross-country running not to let the initial difficulty of building stamina discourage them and not to compare their journey to others. Instead, they encouraged uplifting behavior and positive mindsets. To become better runners, all team members must focus on improving their times and competing more with themselves than others. This mindset is something team captain Raymond Rogers has demonstrated throughout their athletic career as a cross-country runner. Rogers placed fourth at regionals this season. While injuries have held him back in the past, his love for running, inspired by his sister, has always led him to success. Many of his peers had a marathon goal, but they needed to be more dedicated to committing to finishing the race before high school. Last February, Rogers ran a 26.2-mile race, a full marathon, in 4 hours, 24 minutes, and 14 seconds. Not only has Rogers run a marathon before graduating, but he is also ten seconds short of the school record for the fastest male runner. When competing in the Stockbridge race, Rogers had a time of 17:13:4, just shy of Jeremy Bond’s 17:03:0. His team’s growth this season speaks to his leadership skills. In an interview by the Livingston Daily, coach Ron Abner said that in all 12 years of his cross-country coaching career, Rogers is the best captain he has ever had and has led a fantastic team through a breathtaking season.