Leesville Cross Country is back, and they’re ready to rumble.
After a long summer of workouts and distance runs at Umstead State Park, runners are excited for their meet against Apex.
Cross Country is probably one of the biggest teams at Leesville besides football.
“We’re like a family; people of all skill levels can connect. Some people are super serious about it and go to states, and you will have some people just there to have a good time,” said Sean Nicol, team captain who has been running since middle school at LRMS
Nicol’s goals are to be a good leader for his team and to teach less experienced runners how to avoid injuries by not making the same mistakes he did.
Cross country has had four different coaches, until Brent Hale, current coach. It will now be his second year coaching at Leesville. He also coached Winter and Spring Track as a distance coach.
Some of new recruits such as Kias Cook’s goals are to improve their endurance and have a good time with friends.
The team is so large because, while there is technically only one team, the boys and girls practice separately.
There are three categories of runners for cross country: There are the varsity runners who go to invitational and sometimes dual meets. There is an intermediate group of runners who attend invitational meets, but run borderline varsity. And then there are junior varsity runners who go to the dual meets, and occasionally if there’s enough room invitational races
Invitational races are races hosted by schools that set up a 5k course and use volunteers to run the race. Schools from all over the state can participate in these races.
The Leesville cross country team has many ways to connect with other runners. Members will host pasta dinners the Friday before invitational or pancake runs on the Saturdays they don’t have races.