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GOING THE DISTANCE: A Preview of Cross Country’s Season

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The cross country team prepares for a tough season.

The cross country team prepares for a tough season.

The cross country team prepares for a tough season.

While many believe that the cross country season begins in early September, athletes are training hard months in advance. For at least two months before the races commence, they are constantly running, as summer mileage is vital to their success.

The team mostly focuses on tempo runs during the season while also incorporating hills, long recovery runs, and strength training. These four activities help to build and maintain their endurance while also teaching their bodies how to react to a change in pace during races. With the help of Coach Richard James, the new Director of Sports Performance, they are also working to prevent injury in order to stay healthy the entire season by stretching and lifting.

Poly’s running program has some major changes this year. In June, former coaches Adrien Ricci and Alex Plasencia announced that they would not be returning to Poly. As a result, athletes were very uncertain about the future of Poly’s running program. However, they are now very excited to be led by Coaches Daniel Winn and Bridgette Ingram, two very experienced and successful runners.

Daniel Winn was a star on the Oregon Track Team, one of the fastest teams in the nation. He still competes today for a local professional team, running sub-four minute miles all along the East Coast. He participates in events of all distances, from the 800 meter to the 5,000 meter and beyond. Bridgette Ingram graduated from Seton Hall after a very successful track and field career. There, she won three straight Big East indoor pentathlon championships and even represented the United States in the heptathlon at the 2011 Pan American Games. Since then, she has coached for Manhattan College, New York University, and Hackley.

In the upcoming weeks, the team has some large invitationals including the Bob Pratt Invitational. Here, they compete against the top teams in Long Island. After that, they will be attending the Six Flags Invitational, Shore Coaches, and the famed Manhattan Invitational. While all of these are competitive and large meets, the Manhattan Invitational is the single largest high school cross country event in cross country. Thousands of runners from all over the country fly into New York City to run in the Bronx. Poly will be there and they are sure that they will hold their own against this stiff competition.

Under the instruction of such experienced coaches and captains, Poly Prep’s Cross Country team is certain to become one of the top teams in the Ivy and NYSAIS Leagues.

Although many of the meets that the team competes in are either in the Bronx or outside of the tri-state area, all Poly students should go and support them during their practices as the season goes on.

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GOING THE DISTANCE: A Preview of Cross Country’s Season