by Joanna Fisher, WMS Faculty Member and Cross-country Coach
The White Mountain School cross-country team’s story is one of persistence. Last winter, a few motivated students began advocating for a cross-country running program at WMS. Because of these students’ efforts The White Mountain School now joins other schools from around New Hampshire to run five-kilometer races on trails that cover a variety of terrains. The sport is based on persistence, and these students persisted a full year in getting it established at WMS. This attitude, combined with lots of persistence at practice, has led to an incredibly successful first season for WMS cross-country.
Twelve students are members of the team this year. They range in experience from seasoned road racers to students who had never run more than a few hundred yards. Practices have taken them all over the region, from our own campus trails to Loon Mountain to road runs that began in Franconia, went to Cannon Mountain, and ended in swims in Echo Lake. Our athletes have persisted and improved throughout the course of this season. At races their progress is apparent. Several runners have improved their times by up to three minutes and continue to get even faster. The girls’ team has been particularly successful in races this fall. Most recently, The White Mountain School girls won a Lakes Regions meet, beating eight other teams to first place.
The passion and talent our runners have shown this fall sets a great precedent for the School’s cross-country program. In coming years, we are confident that our students will continue to race and get stronger while enjoying the naturally beautiful setting we are blessed to inhabit. The new cross-country team has been a challenging and rewarding experience for our students and we’re excited to see where it takes them. “Everyday is a new challenge,” runner Maxine ’12 explains, “but you feel so accomplished after every run.”
Check out some of this fall’s cross-country photos.