The St. Luke’s Cross Country Team has been putting in the miles this preseason, with a number of new runners joining the fold.
Head Coach Corliss Spencer is back once again to guide the athletes, putting them through their paces on a daily basis. The 13-year stalwart is excited to race again and to have a full girls squad this year.
The team is captained by senior trio Colt Alford, Will Winalski, and Keilan Rosow. Spencer expects their support to keep the team motivated throughout the season: “The three captains will help run the practices, and I am looking for them to encourage and inspire their teammates.”
The team has been working hard during the first three weeks back. They have been competing in the New Canaan Cross Country Summer Series on Tuesday evenings, as well as training every evening with Spencer and her coaching staff of Graham Foster and Ryan Kohl. Spencer has been impressed with a number of her team members: “Brian and Danny Gall have returned looking very strong. Will Drapkin and Grady Millones have also been running very well. I am excited about Broday Ebright and Jessica Hausman, two new members of the team. The group has been working extremely hard. We are trying to establish a reproducible rhythm to our practices so that the transition to practicing at the end of the academic day will be smooth.”
Spencer would like to see the team finish in the top half of the FAA Championship meet, as well as have several individual runners perform well enough at the New England Championship race to qualify for the All-Star meet. However, the head coach has a strong focus on camaraderie and sportsmanship and expects her team to display both at every race: “I would like the team to not only cheer for their team members but also for the other teams. I like to remind our runners that if we were the only school at the race, it wouldn't be much fun. We appreciate and applaud the efforts of all athletes, regardless of team affiliation.”
Winalski echoed Spencer’s thoughts on sportsmanship and has been impressed with this year’s squad: “I expect everyone on the team to encourage other runners. Regardless of a teammate's speed, everyone should encourage others to perform at their best level. Preseason has been full of new energy. We have an abundance of runners who want to improve. Everyone is eager to be at practice and participate in the races, which will make for a great fall.”
Alford added: “Preseason has gone wonderfully, as I have had the chance to become accustomed to the many new faces on the team. I look forward to building relationships with the other members of the team and for them to show the same enthusiasm that I do at every practice.”
The Storm kicks off its season at the Wilton Invitational on Saturday, September 18, before its first FAA meet of the fall on Wednesday, September 22, at Waveny Park in New Canaan.