Fast & Furious: Cross country is back with big goals ahead


Photo by Eliza Gifford

Sophomore Lily Connor sprints to the finish at the Sept. 29 meet at Ivey Redmon Park.

Ella Lambiris, A&E/Opinions Editor

After two unpredictable seasons, COVID-19 is not stopping the Reagan Cross Country team from achieving their goals.

Coach Eric Fritz has been coaching cross country for 28 years, eight being at Reagan. Assistant coach Chris Pinnix has been coaching cross country for two years. Although coach Pinnix has only coached cross country for a short period of time, he has 23 years of coaching experience with various other sports.

With COVID’s uncertainties over the last two years, high school athletes can finally return to a semi-normal season.

“My favorite thing from this season has been getting to go to big invitationals again now that COVID restrictions have lightened up,” said junior runner Victoria Clinger. 

These dedicated runners start their long season with workouts starting in the middle of  summer. The official season and practices start on Aug 2. The runners then have six practices a week, with the exception of  Sunday, and have one to two meets a week until their season ends on Nov. 6. 

The season includes regular meets, where everyone on the team runs, and also bigger invitational meets that only the top 14 female runners and top 14 male runners qualify to run in. 

Participation from freshmen and sophomores  has fallen over the past two years with being out of school because of COVID. Not many underclassmen have heard enough about the cross country program or had the chance to get involved with the team.

“Hopefully we will pick up more runners for our future seasons,” Fritz said.

So far this season, the cross country team has accomplished a lot. The boys team were second best in Forsyth County, and both the boys and girls teams finished runners-up at the Adidas XC Challenge in Cary, NC.

Coach Fritz is not done and has more goals for his team to accomplish before the season ends. Fritz hopes to have some individual top finishers along with a top finish for the team at the CPC Championships on Oct. 20. After that meet, the cross country team will enter the North Carolina High School Athletic Association championship season. 

“This season I would love to make All-Conference and break 20 minutes in the 5k,” Clinger said.

Fritz hopes to have both the boys and girls team qualify for the 4A NCHSAA State Championship. If all goes to plan, this will be Reagan’s fifth consecutive year running in the championship. 

Along with coach Fritz, the runners have individual goals they set for themselves throughout the season. And with the constant support from their teammates, they make them happen.

“It’d be pretty gnarly if I could get a PR before the season is over,” said senior Lucas Cumbo, who has been a part of the Reagan cross country team for four years.