Fall Team Spotlight: Cross Country Cruises Through Creative Season

Cross Country seniors 2020

Pictured: Seniors Madi Knapp ’21 (captain), Erin Corbett ’21 (captain), Sophia Botero ’21, and Jordana Doshna ’21

Article written by Erin Corbett ’21

Each week throughout the fall, we will highlight one of our nine teams that normally have a very traditional competition season. 

This season has presented a lot of challenges for our team sports. With the threat of  COVID-19, our fall teams have forfeited their games against in order to keep our community safe. Nonetheless, The Ethel Walker Cross Country team has been thriving. Coaches Sarah Edson and Dr. Christopher Semk have kept the team running — literally. They lead runs that keep the team in shape, but they also provide positive energy that is contagious. 

Team captain senior Erin Corbett ’21 comments, “You can’t help but smile, when you are surrounded by a great group of people who love to run and cheer you on through it all! Ms. Edson and Dr. Semk are great coaches. They are supportive and push you to do your best. It is my first year on this team and I love being a part of this program and I look forward to the rest of our season!” 

The running activities are strategically split for the week to help the athletes prepare mentally and physically for what lies ahead. On Mondays, the team participates in aimed campus run, running for a set amount of time around campus and the surrounding neighborhoods. On Tuesdays, the focus is speed work including shorter durations that are more intense. Speed days often offer hill sprints and quarter mile sprints. For Wednesday practices, the team does long distance runs at slower paces usually on the beautiful, wooded trails near campus.Thursdays are for tempo runs, again running for a set amount of time. The team finishes the week on Friday with recovery runs, runs around campus for a predetermined set of time.

Jordana Doshna ’21 says, “My favorite running day is Thursday, the tempo run day. I like that comfortable uncomfortable pace because I’m pushing myself, but it still feels good.” 

Co-captain Madi Knapp ‘21 adds, “I love the positive and fun-loving environment that our team fosters. There’s a healthy balance between being competitive and having a good time, and I think that’s extremely important in high school athletics. I’m really fortunate that I’ve had the opportunity to be a part of and lead such an incredible team, and I know that I wouldn’t have been as successful as I am without the support of my teammates over the past three years.