Young Cross Country Team Optimistic About 2012 Season

AND+THEY%27RE+OFF%3A+Members+of+the+Tam+girls+cross+country+team+set+out+at+the+Stinson+Beach+Relays.++Photo+courtesy+of%3A+MJ+Alves
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Young Cross Country Team Optimistic About 2012 Season

AND THEY'RE OFF: Members of the Tam girls cross country team set out at the Stinson Beach Relays.  Photo courtesy of: MJ Alves

AND THEY'RE OFF: Members of the Tam girls cross country team set out at the Stinson Beach Relays. Photo courtesy of: MJ Alves

AND THEY'RE OFF: Members of the Tam girls cross country team set out at the Stinson Beach Relays. Photo courtesy of: MJ Alves

AND THEY'RE OFF: Members of the Tam girls cross country team set out at the Stinson Beach Relays. Photo courtesy of: MJ Alves

Emma Talkoff

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AND THEY’RE OFF: Members of the Tam girls cross country team set out at the Stinson Beach Relays. Photo courtesy of: MJ Alves

The cross country teams were put to their first test of the season on September 8 at the Ed Sias invitational meet, where 310 runners from 24 schools raced a 2-mile course in Pleasant Hill. Tam had a strong showing, with senior Maddy Kwasny placing 15th and junior Amanda Barriscale and sophomore Gianna Garza claiming 31st and 32nd places respectively. Junior co-captain Isaac Cohen took 26th in the boys race.

Cohen described this first race as “high quality,” and said that the results from the race “confirmed what we expected from the first big meet of the season.” Cohen hopes that for both veteran runners and newcomers to the team, this will be a year of “building experience and improving.”

Still feeling the loss of last year’s top-performing seniors, the team is cautiously optimistic about the season ahead. “We have a big pool of beginners to pull from,” Cohen said. “We have a shot if everyone works hard.”

At more than 60 athletes strong, the cross country team is comprised of more juniors and sophomores than in years past, but team captains and coaches are looking to use the team’s age to their advantage. “The teams are young and have been training hard,” said Coach Sylvia Goodman.

Junior Co-captain Sebastian Tamblyn sees the age of the team as an opportunity. “We’re going to be focusing on making a base for next season,” he said.

Cohen also cited maturation as a top priority, as well as striving for excellence at MCAL’s later in the season. Goodman agreed. “We would like to take the teams as far as we can,” she said.

The girls’team, captained by senior Morgana Sidhom (also a Tam News reporter) and junior Amanda Barriscale, has similar ambitions. Already, said Barriscale, “we’ve all become stronger runners,” with a group of talented freshmen and sophomores contributing to the core of the team.

On September 15, at the Viking Invitational, Tam’s underclassmen girls stepped up to the plate, winning the freshman/sophomore division with sophomore Bella Amyx in third. Kwasny represented upperclassmen girls, taking sixth in the senior girls’ race.

Even with ambitious goals for individuals and the team in mind, the runners and coaches are equally focused on creating a supportive environment for runners at all levels. “We have a lot of fun,” said Cohen. “It’s a good community.”

“Everyone is really nice, including the coaches,” first-year runner and junior Amanda Moe said. Moe was interested in finding a challenging sport that would also be free of unwanted pressure, and was drawn to cross country. “It sounded fun,” said Moe, “and so far, it is.”

On September 13, Tam’s runners had another opportunity to show their stuff at the Stinson Beach Relays. The seaside meet provided the team with another assessment of where they stand. “It’s an informal way to get a read on the other talent out there and where their strengths and weaknesses are,” said Goodman. Tam girls were successful once again, taking third at the meet.

Barriscale is looking forward to the rest of the season. “We’re going to have a really strong team,” she said, “So get to our meets.” Between the enthusiasm of its athletes, dedication of its coaches, and the abundance of new runners, cross country is in for an interesting season. “We have a lot of talent on the team, a group of very dedicated and focused individuals who set high goals for themselves and collectively make an outstanding team,” Goodman said.

 

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Young Cross Country Team Optimistic About 2012 Season