Cross country camaraderie


Ellie Rodriguez

Sophomore Alex Morrison, senior Gustavo Marino, junior Joshua Thomas and seniors Kourtney Melendi and Matias Marchi run cool-down exercises after morning practice.

In most high school sports, the punishment for messing around at practice or playing a losing game is running. For cross country runners, running is the name of the game.
“It’s the hardest sport to do,” senior Matias Marchi said. The team agreed that the mental game is as demanding as the physical. Senior Kourtney Melendi said, “You’re thinking, ‘I should step into that ditch…’ But I know that I have a million excuses and Coach won’t buy any of them.”
New coaches Art Salow and Danny Close have taken Hassan Wajd’s place this year, as Wajd was moved to Van Buren Middle School, though he attended the first few weeks of practice.
The team has been running together since the last week of school. “Right now, we do six miles on an easy day,” said senior Gustavo Marino. A normal day involves eight to 10 miles of running. “At the beginning [of the season] I say I won’t complain, but that goes away pretty quickly,” said sophomore Alex Morrison. The first meet is Sept. 7.
Hillsborough’s cross country team is set apart by the obvious camaraderie and friendship that exists among the members. “We hang out outside of practice,” said junior Joshua Thomas. Senior Catie Elko said, “It’s the only reason I come to practice.”