Girls Go the Distance

Zoe Bloodgood, Writer

Does running for miles on end excite you? Probably not, but for these girls it’s not just a sport, instead it’s a passion and way of life. The Central Regional Girls’ Cross Country team led by Coach Langer had a successful season with a lot of good feelings and times. The interesting thing about Cross Country and other running sports is that it’s all about your individual performance not the team’s, although it is good when your whole team can collectively come in a  good place. Even if the team doesn’t do as well – if you run faster it’s a win. I went into depth with some of the teammates and even Coach Langer to get the inside scoop of how their season went and some of the challenges that come with running!

Cross Country is competitive running between teams, and the goal is to run a good time over a long distance. “There are times where my times are very good and you pass many people, but then there’s also times where you don’t do as well,” says Jess Babino, a varsity runner that also does distance running in Track. One of the difficult challenges of cross country is that you have to endure tons of terrain such as mud, woods, hills, and branches from trees. The courses, one being the ocean County Park, are public parks with paths to run on varying from 5Ks, which are around 3 miles, and 10Ks. On top of that it’s just you and your thoughts which takes a lot of training.  Savannah Quick, who is a Varsity Track distance runner, tried Cross Country for the time this year thinking it wasn’t going to be that different from running distance. She exclaimed “It was not as easy as I thought, I give Cross Country runners a lot of credit. It’s not just running, some of the courses are crazy, like Homedale was never ending hills in the woods.”

There were tons of highlights from the season. Some of the girls won medals in meets, one being Jessica Babino, which is always an accomplishment and proves they have a remarkably fast time. They came in 11th place out of 19 total teams in a Shore Conference, and the teams probably had double if not triple the amount of people on the team. Coach Langer’s improvements for the team have nothing to do with the actual runners themselves, mostly to keep up the good work and increase the size of the team. All of the girls were proud of their performances throughout the season. Their team is so positive in everything about the season, even in some of the hard times where things weren’t going as well. Savannah Quick said “The whole season was a highlight, I couldn’t have asked for a better team. I’m proud of every single one of my teammates.” Coach Langer added “I’m so proud of everyone with their performances, and I can’t wait for the future!” Overall the whole team was proud of their performances throughout the season with personal goals either completed or on their way to become completed in the next season to come. They truly are a family, the small but mighty team will continue to press on with it’s hard-working runners: Emily Teague, Nicole Wadolowski, Jess Babino, Catherine Hankins, Mikayla Demarco, Nicole Dowdy, Savannah Quick.