Masks Up, Sneakers On: Clark Cross Country Season Begins!


Clark runners from 2019-2020 season; Photo by Jon Endow (NEWMAC Photo)

Will Mahan, Sports Editor

One, two, three, go! A group of runners sprint down the track, beginning their workout. It’s a cold Tuesday morning, with the bustle of 6:00am traffic around us. We stand with masks on and shoes tied, as one by one we each get on the track line and sprint. As we run with masks covering out faces, we feel our breath push back at us.

“It’s a bit different to say the least, running by nature is distanced, although being a breath heavy sport, mask-use can be challenging at times,” stated senior Captain Bobby Sharma (‘21). “When you’re on the track and trying to hit higher speeds, it definitely restricts the airflow. It’s a challenge, but as the great Kelly Clarkson would say, ‘what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger’”. 

It seems as though the lyrics to Kelly Clarkson’s iconic song ‘Stronger’, are a parallel to the thought process within the men and women’s cross country team here at Clark. Solely running work-outs on the track is definitely a change in approach when compared to last year, when the runners freely roamed the streets of downtown Worcester. 

“It’s not ideal and I honestly think it would be safe for us to run outside the track, but I am just happy that we still have a season and can practice,” stated senior runner Julien Faucheux (‘21). 

Although the changes may not be ideal, the team has nevertheless worked to set goals for themselves. 

“I personally would like to take this time to work on form and strength and conditioning. I expect the team will handle the pandemic with no problem, through daily symptom and temperature reporting,” stated senior Captain Ben Ryan (‘21) “I’m very confident that our team will be able to continue practicing this season because of our adherence to these rules.” 

Similarly, other seniors on the team have set team-goals as well, including senior Captain Meghan Davinroy. “I am hoping to maintain and continue to develop our team atmosphere as well as improve personally as a team,” Davinroy (‘21) stated “I hope that we will be able to have fun and get faster together despite the challenges we have to overcome.” 

This year’s season provides stark challenges to the first-year runners as well, many of whom have voiced their opinions on the training thus far. 

“I am enjoying being a part of the team here at Clark”, stated first-year runner Max Rosenfeld (‘24). “I think the best way to describe my expectations is that this is the season no one envisioned. While there are no meets this season, the team is making sure to keep in shape for when conditions do get better.” 

Many first-year runners have also set their sights on the future of Clark Cross Country, including team newcomer Sam Norton. “I’m really hopeful that I get to race next year. I always loved to race in high school so I was really bummed out that I didn’t get to race this season,” Nanton (‘24) stated. 

As Clark’s cross country moves into ever-changing times, one thing remains the same, their determination. Nothing will stop Clark’s Cross Country team from running fast and running hard. Not even a pandemic can faze the Men and Women who run for us. 

Clark runners will run on the same day, wear masks to keep other safe, and most of all they will  push forward regardless of the circumstances. We are ready to make this semester a season of greatness, even as the times we live in feel unstable as ever.