Cross country is even more of a distance sport this season for many

Sirin Whitcomb sprints to the finish line in Saturday’s cross country competition in Aviano. A total of 15 runners competed in the event where Whitcomb finished with a time of 34 minutes, 38 seconds. (Norman llamas / Stars and stripes)
Sirin Whitcomb sprints to the finish line in Saturday's cross country competition in Aviano.  A total of 15 runners competed in the event where Whitcomb finished with a time of 34 minutes, 38 seconds.
Sirin Whitcomb sprints to the finish line in Saturday’s cross country competition in Aviano. A total of 15 runners competed in the event where Whitcomb finished with a time of 34 minutes, 38 seconds. (Norman llamas / Stars and stripes)
Zurnia Dickerson approaches the finish line during Saturday's cross country meet in Aviano.
Zurnia Dickerson approaches the finish line during Saturday’s cross country meet in Aviano. (Norman llamas / Stars and stripes)
Layla Hall approaches the finish line at Saturday's cross country meet in Aviano.  Hall finished in 25 minutes 52 seconds.
Layla Hall approaches the finish line at Saturday’s cross country meet in Aviano. Hall finished in 25 minutes 52 seconds. (Norman llamas / Stars and stripes)
Halie Carroll sprints to the finish line in Saturday's cross country competition in Aviano.  Carroll finished with a time of 25 minutes, 29 seconds.
Halie Carroll sprints to the finish line in Saturday’s cross country competition in Aviano. Carroll finished with a time of 25 minutes, 29 seconds. (Norman llamas / Stars and stripes)
Nick Altland sprints to the finish line in Saturday's cross country competition held in Aviano.  Altland finished in 23 minutes 24 seconds.
Nick Altland sprints to the finish line in Saturday’s cross country competition held in Aviano. Altland finished in 23 minutes 24 seconds. (Norman llamas / Stars and stripes)
Savannah Dismute and Brandon Hwang sprint to the finish in Saturday's cross country competition in Aviano.  Dismute was second for the girls with a time of 23 minutes and 27 seconds.  Hwang finished with a time of 23:58.
Savannah Dismute and Brandon Hwang sprint to the finish in Saturday’s cross country competition in Aviano. Dismute was second for the girls with a time of 23 minutes and 27 seconds. Hwang finished with a time of 23:58. (Norman llamas / Stars and stripes)
Makayla Hall, who finished first in the women's race, sprints to the finish line in Saturday's cross country competition in Aviano.  His time was 22 minutes, 2 seconds.
Makayla Hall, who finished first in the women’s race, sprints to the finish line in Saturday’s cross country competition in Aviano. His time was 22 minutes, 2 seconds. (Norman llamas / Stars and stripes)
Trenton Bouchard finishes his race in Saturday's cross country competition in Aviano.  Bouchard finished in third place with a time of 21 minutes, 15 seconds.
Trenton Bouchard finishes his race in Saturday’s cross country competition in Aviano. Bouchard finished in third place with a time of 21 minutes, 15 seconds. (Norman llamas / Stars and stripes)
Michael O'Brien sprints to the finish line in Saturday's cross country competition in Aviano.  O'Brien finished first in the boys' group with a time of 19 minutes, 22 seconds.
Michael O’Brien sprints to the finish line in Saturday’s cross country competition in Aviano. O’Brien finished first in the boys’ group with a time of 19 minutes, 22 seconds. (Norman llamas / Stars and stripes)
Halie Carroll, left, and Layla Hall start their race at Saturday's cross-country ski meet in Aviano.
Halie Carroll, left, and Layla Hall start their race at Saturday’s cross-country ski meet in Aviano. (Norman llamas / Stars and stripes)
Brandon Hwang, left, and Trenton Bouchard set off in the Aviano cross country competition on Saturday.  A total of 15 runners took part in the event, which drew around 30 supporters, despite the cooler weather.
Brandon Hwang, left, and Trenton Bouchard set off in the Aviano cross country competition on Saturday. A total of 15 runners took part in the event, which drew around 30 supporters, despite the cooler weather. (Norman llamas / Stars and stripes)

AVIANO AIR BASE, Italy – Members of the Aviano cross country teams will not compete in person against athletes from other schools this season.

But that didn’t stop them – and hundreds more at other sites in Europe on Saturday – from trying to cover 5 kilometers as quickly as possible.

About 30 supporters came to support the Saints on a cool autumn day when the temperatures were ideal for such an event.

DODEA presented the virtual aspect of the competition, which ends with a championship on October 24, this year with the aim of reducing the spread of the coronavirus. COVID-19 cases have increased dramatically recently in many European countries, including Italy. Aviano High School has not reported any cases so far.

“We worked really hard and I wish I could have been able to compete with other schools,” said coach Ian Birch.

“Our kids are very fast and it would be interesting to see how they fare in a head-to-head competition. Hope we can see it materialize next year.

In Aviano the riders were divided into groups of two and three to maintain some social distance during the event. In total, 15 competitors took part in a course made up mainly of the asphalt track which runs along a large part of the base’s peripheral road.

“Concrete is terrible to run on,” said Makayla Hall, a senior who finished first in girls in 22 minutes and 2 seconds. “With the season being so short, we are doing our best with this situation.”

Saturday’s event was the third of the season for the Saints. Next week all runners are expected to run on basic tracks to present a relatively level playing field. The coaches will then report the scores and the European virtual champions will be crowned. On the same day, competitors in Germany – where head-to-head competition has been approved – will face off in Baumholder with determined champions there as well.

“To compete virtually is a very unique experience because you have to motivate yourself during the race,” said Hall. “There is no one to compete against and therefore you have to be motivated by your own values. “

“It was a very different format, but it brought the team together a lot,” said senior Zachary Villa. “This situation allowed us to get to know each other better. I’m looking forward to next week and hope to run faster than today.

Birch said a good chunk of his teams had never participated in the sport before.

“This is my first time racing cross country,” said rookie Savannah Dismute. “I am improving over the weeks. My technique improves because I am learning to breathe better and I also understand how my body reacts to different rhythms, which helps me run better.

“I’ve never raced cross country before,” said junior Michael O’Brien. He finished first in the boys’ race at 19:22. “I am a footballer but I like to run. So even though it’s a challenge, I appreciate it. I prefer to run for a long time, but it’s okay.

[email protected] Twitter: @normanllamas

portrait of the author

Norman llamas

Norman covers the US military in northern Italy and occasionally elsewhere for Stars and Stripes. He was born in Guatemala and raised in Rhode Island. He has over 10 years of experience as an army photojournalist and was a photojournalism instructor at the Defense Information School.



Twitter


E-mail


Source link

About Perry Perrie

Perry Perrie

Check Also

Baby Loss Awareness Week: Like Chrissy Teigen, I took pictures of the two babies I lost | The Independent

Baby loss Awareness Week runs from October 9-15, 2020 and aims to raise awareness about …