by Lauren Schena
The Methuen Ranger Cross Country team is Methuen High’s secret family–the secret being that not everyone knows how close this team really is.
Cross country may seem daunting to those on the outside, but it’s an entirely different environment within the group. “Cross country is more than just a team to me, over the past four years these people have become my family, my home away from home,” said senior captain, Olivia Rosano. The accomplishments of this outstanding group are fueled by their commitment to each other and to their team. Not only do their bonds make them better runners, but they make them a closer family.
After being asked why she loves cross country, senior captain, Emily Charest, said, “I love it because the people I run with are not only my teammates but my best friends.” Having such a close knit environment allows this team to make friendships that will last a lifetime. When asked the same question, senior Julia Bryant said that she loves the support she gets from her teammates on and off the course. “The people I have met quickly became my best friends and they have helped me so much,” Bryant said.
Having a supporting team really makes a difference for these athletes because cross country poses physical challenges but it’s also a mentally difficult sport. “Cross country not only makes me a better runner, but a better person because I have to overcome so many physical and mental obstacles,” said junior Alyssa Rosano. That’s why runners believe that even though it can be difficult at times, “the hard work we put in today will carry us into the opportunities of our future,” said junior Elise Anderson. Throughout it all, cross country teaches athletes that working hard and supporting each other creates earned success.
Senior captain, Miana Caraballo, can agree with this concept. Miana says that cross country makes her push through her own barriers and put the pressure aside. “It not only shows me that I can accomplish anything I put my mind to, but that hard work pays off,” she said. Being able to work as a part of a team and be successful all comes from the hard work and dedication that our cross country team puts in every single day.
For this group, teamwork comes from having close relationships. That’s why, you’ll likely find the cross country team bonding and spending quality time together even after they run a race. In regard to her experiences with the team outside of practice, senior Olivia DeNaro, said that she loves hanging out with her teammates away from practice and races, especially when the team goes out for ice cream at Jay Gees. “It’s a chance for all of us to get together, the boys team and the girls team, and since we don’t always spend a lot of time together at practice, it gives us time for more team bonding,” DeNaro said.
For a team as closely connected as this one, having fun and staying close is a key aspect of cross country. Varsity girls head coach, Marissa Nunes, says that she loves all of the athletes and, “they make it so easy to be a coach and so much fun.” These athletes and their coaches all know that they’re able to excel in such a difficult sport because of each other’s support and their close friendships.
Junior Ariana Castiello says that she loves cross country because of the success she’s had with her friends alongside her. She said her favorite part is that, “I get to have my best friends by my side throughout it all.” In the end, the cross country team has had a very successful season, with a 7-3 record for both the boys and girls team, but the relationships within the group have always been their secret weapon. Newcoming runner, Karmen Goggin, can attest to the quick relationships formed within the group. “I’ve met so many amazing people who I’ve become so close to,” she said. Even being a new runner, close relationships within the team form quickly.
Even after a long season, the team was able to come together and support state qualifiers Freddy Coleman, Miana Caraballo, and Alyssa Rosano at their final race of the season and finish off strong. In the long run, this team knows that cross country can only go so far, but friendships like these last a lifetime.