Team Profile: Boys Cross Country

Veronica Jiang

In spite of its reputation as a grueling sport, Cross Country has attracted a lot of runners this year, all excited to improve their speed and endurance in the sport. 

The boys varsity cross country team consists of seven strong team members and three captains, all sixth-formers: Jimmy Wu, Jacob Garcia and Jack Zimmerman. Among the top runners are Ozzie Abaza, who had the best record of 19:56 this year and Lucas Peacock. The team includes fast newcomers as well: Arthur Illidge, a 4th former, and Gabriel Costales, whose best time this season was 20:07.

According to one of the Assistant Coaches, Mr. Ronayne, one of the best parts about the team is that the Junior Varsity runners practice with the Varsity on most days. Since each athlete has had different training progresses in the past summer, team members will then split into groups depending on each one’s speed, pace and running distance. Sometimes the coaches decide to do sprinting courses, but most of the time the team just runs easily. When asked where our team sits relative to others in the league, Mr. Ronayne said that Kent is in the middle of the pack, and that “The focus this year is on getting every athlete to improve.”

Kent already had several challenging races, such as the one with Westminster, called the Richard Miller Invite. It was a large meet, with ten teams. “That was a pretty hilly course, so we are working on getting faster on the hills after that,” Mr. Ronayne explained. On Family Weekend, there will be a home race against Taft, a new team that Kent hasn’t competed against this year. In addition, there will be two big races in the beginning of November, the Founder’s League  and the New England Championships. 

A runner himself, Mr. Ronayne enjoys running with the team. He loves cross country because it is both an individual and a team sport. “It is fun to see athletes run together and get faster each race,” he stated. The team has opportunities to get off campus and go to fun places, such as Macedonia Brook State Park. For Mr. Ronayne’s favorite part of the practice, he shared, “I like that we can run everywhere and enjoy nature. Kids can really relax during the process.”