Freshmen climb ranks

With only three out of seven runners on the Ames High girls’€™ varsity cross country team returning from last season, there were some big holes left in the lineup. Luckily, a wave of talented freshmen were able to quickly fill up these vacancies.

“€œThey’€™ve helped out our team a lot,”€ Taylor Williams, a senior who has been on the team since her freshman year, said. “And they’€™re really nice.”€

“€œThe seniors made us feel welcome,”€ Pritchard said. Many freshmen struggle with the transition from middle school to high school: the new building, the heavy workload, and the new and older people.

“€œIt seems like in high school, the main goal of each day is to cram information into our heads at lightning speed,” Lavrova said. “€œWhich is pretty different from middle school; we were taught things at a much slower pace there.”

“€œHigh school is obviously much bigger, all your classes are spread out and in middle school I went to my locker between almost every period, but now all of my stuff is in my backpack,”€ Boylston said.

Although many other freshmen have to deal with these same problems, most don’€™t have a varsity sport with five practices a week, which includes a 6:30 AM Saturday morning practice, as well as one race every week. For these three freshmen, everything got harder, including the running.

“The Saturday early morning practices were a huge shock,” Pritchard said. “€œAll the distances seemed so long at first, but now I’€™ve gotten used to it.”€

Although joining the high school cross country team included a few changes to their schedules, none of these freshmen were new to running.

“€œI started running from watching my brother run,”€ Boylston said. “€œI started running around my neighborhood in fourth grade, like my older brother (junior Orion Boylston) did. I started going to Ames Impact Track Club and then middle school cross country and track.”€

Although they may be time consuming and physically demanding, participating in a fall sport is a great way for underclassmen to meet upperclassmen.

“€œMy favorite part has to be the fact that after a while, our team starts to feel like a family,”€ Lavrova said.

“€œAll of the girls [on the team] are amazing,”€ Boylston said. “€œThey would do anything for me.€ The girls’€™ cross country team is currently ranked 10th in the 4A division, and have high hopes to go to the state meet, which the top 15 teams in the state qualify for.”

“€œThe freshmen are really good, and their consistency will definitely help us obtain our goal,”€ senior Jessica Jacobson said, who is also on the varsity lineup.

With three new freshmen on the varsity as well as a few others on the A and B running teams, a good team for the next few years is almost a guarantee.

“€œMy only goal this year is to try and improve my form,”€ Lavrova said. “€œI’m still a freshman; I can focus on improving my running times a bit later.”