Cross Country sends off four of their very own to States

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photo submitted by Aiden McLaughlin

Aiden McLaughlin leads a group runners during one of Cross Country’s seasonal meets. McLaughlin went on to Districts and placed first, and he eventually placed forty-second in States.

Most people consider running as a punishment, but these athletes say otherwise. Our very own Cross Country runners Aiden McLaughlin, Andrew Barnoff, Laura Rittenhouse, and Elizabeth Long traveled to Hershey, PA on November 7 to participate in States.

McLaughlin ran a 17:50 and Barnoff a 19:05 while Rittenhouse ran a 23:17 and Long a 23:58. With hundreds of athletes participating, these runners gave it their all in the opportunity of a lifetime.

The overall experience was nothing short of incredible according to the athletes, but things were done a little differently this year because of COVID.

“It was enjoyable,” Aiden McLaughlin said. “It’s not what I’m used to. The last two years have included the whole team going. But I had some good friends there, and it was a good time.”

Even though McLaughlin said he does not plan to run in the future, other than for pleasure, he does offer advice to the future runners of our school.

“It’s a weird sport. You just kinda gotta keep going. It’s hard but it builds a good drive to work toward your goals,” said McLaughlin.

Not only were States and Districts affected this year, but the entire season as a whole was not the same compared to previous years. Athletes had to adapt to new situations everyday with new rules and regulations being thrown at them. Coaches made the best out of the position that they and their team were in to make the season have a sense of normalcy.

“Coach Snyder communicated with other teams to try to get as many meets as possible and make it normal,” said Laura Rittenhouse.

Rittenhouse also offers some advice and explains what this year has taught her.

“It’s never too late to reach your goals,” said Rittenhouse. “If you keep trying hard enough you will always get there. Never give up on something because you always have the possibility to do it.”

The 2020 Cross Country season has come to an end but it will never be forgotten. Even with the difficulty that came with this year, these runners didn’t let that stop them from continuing their everyday passion; an action that everyone can learn from.