From One to Many


Can you imagine being the only individual to represent your school in a sport? Or even having the confidence to stand alone amongst three hundred other girls and hundreds of other runners to race for a title that may seem far out of reach? I can! This was cross country as I knew it for my first few years of running in high school. When I was an eighth grader, I was the only one to represent Ascension in the LHSAA State Cross Country meet. Then again my freshman year, I may have been the only girl representing Ascension at the line-ups, but I was on a “team” with two other runners, Reece McDaniel and Logan Throndson. Three may not seem like a large number, but we were a team. Many girls would turn to me and ask me where is my team, and I would say “I am the only one.” But times have definitely changed. When people ask me where is my team, I can turn and show them all the runners by my side.

This year was probably the best year for Ascension cross country. The team has many young strong runners that will continue to get stronger and bring this team to the next level. The whole team has worked unbelievably hard, training all season, beginning in late August, with the end goal of state in November. As you can imagine, this makes for a very long and tiring season. Not only is the season very long, cross country meets are early in the morning and many of the courses have rough conditions, from hills to mud, possible hot or cold outdoor factors and few episodes of rain. As a cross country runner, you must mentally deal with all these elements for three miles.

Coach Jason Guidry has truly helped in building this team and program by not only teaching us how to run, but mentoring us on life lessons and how to act like a team. He is honestly a coach like no other; he makes sure that we cover all the bases of ab work, running, and stretching to help to make us stronger and be able to compete as a team. He makes sure that we know exactly what to do in a race, at the starting line and at each point of the course by calling out our split, so that we know if we need to speed up the pace. This season, Coach Jason also registered us in many out of town meets to introduce us to a whole new level of competition and experiences. The team success is definitely contributed to him and team work of all the runners. I am sad to be leaving my team, but I have confidence that they will continue to work hard and get stronger to be able to bring Ascension cross country to the next level.