Girls’ Cross Country Prepares for Upcoming Season

Tying up their running shoes every morning at eight o’clock, the Lady Lancers have been working hard to prepare for their upcoming cross country season. Through summer running at the Wirth Park tot lot, they rack up miles to prepare for their first year ever racing a 5K (3.1 miles) compared to their previous 4K (2.5 miles) treks.
Wisconsin was one of 10 states in which girls run shorter distances during the cross country regular season. In all other states, girls and boys run the same distance of five kilometers. This transition to run longer races will create an interesting year for the Lady Lancers, but nevertheless, they are just as hyped up about this season as much as any other, if not more.
“We are super excited,” said Lara Weiner (‘15) when asked about the season. “Most other teams are saying this is a rebuilding year for our team, but I think this year, we are coming in strong with some amazing new and returning runners.”
Some high schools might be thinking that this is the year to come up on the Lady Lancers, due to the loss of several strong runners who graduated last spring. These athletes include varsity runners Danielle Kulpins (‘14), Paulina Agnello (‘14), and 2013 State champion Elizabeth Flatley (‘14).
According to varsity runner Emma Kumer (‘16), this is not the case for the Lady Lancers. “Losing Flatley, Kulpins, and Agnello will definitely be difficult on our team, but even without them we are still a very strong group of girls,” Kumer said, “Everyone else that was on the team last year is coming back and improving, and with the addition of many very talented new freshmen, no one should be worried about our success. We might not have the best runner in the state on our team anymore, but we are still the same girls with the same coach and same competitive drive.”
The team would not be as strong individually as they are when they are working hard together. In and out of their running shoes, the Lady Lancers are always in a team spirit, especially when it comes to pranking the boys’ team. Weiner elaborates, “This year the girls’ team has really dominated the prank wars against the boys, doing pranks such as duct taping their water bottles and other belongings to trees, and covering their waters with lotion.”
Of course the team still enjoys simple yet fun adventures such as going out for “family breakfasts,” playing ultimate frisbee, going through multiple days of obstacle courses, and most notably, running several trail runs.
“I have made some of my best friends on the cross country team and have had some of the most fun moments with these girls,” Kumer said, “It’s going to be a blast this year. I can already tell.”
Just like every year, a group of runners graduate and leave their legacies behind them, and a new group of runners join. But no matter the loss, the Lady Lancer spirit will always stay. “My advice to the girls is to realize how to live in the here and now,” Agnello said as a send off to her teammates, “If you had a bad race or workout, shake it off, because the things you are going to remember looking back on your high school days is what made you smile. Make everyday count, look forward to your runs, smile at everyone, push each other, and most importantly, have fun, make inside jokes, love your team, and make every drop of sweat something to be proud of.”