By Sydney Phillips and Ekene Ezeh
The Hammond High School Cross Country team has had another strong season after lots of hard work and team effort over the summer. The team had run counties, and finished strong this season.
One cross country meet that really stood out to Freshman Wayne Low was the Howard County Invitationals. The Howard County Invitational took place on Saturday, September 14th, and the cross country team started their season off strong. “It was my first meet, and I saw a lot of schools there,” he said.
Photo Creds: Coach Kim Williams
As Coach Kim reflected on what impressed her about the team this season, she said, “The improvement. We have a really young team. We don’t actually have any seniors on our team. Most of the kids we have are ninth and tenth graders. This is the first time we have had four kids in the 18 minute range and one kid in the 17 minute range.” But what impressed her even more was her team and the hard work that the runners put in over the summer.
“We had five kids over the summer run over 400 miles,” she said, “So I think that shows where we stand because they put in the work.” To discuss next year’s team, and reflecting on all of the work the team did over the summer, Coach Kim responded saying, “I think going into next year, I think we are going to be a totally different team. I think that [work] really shows where we stand.”
Within the impressive team, there were a few runners that really stood out this season. One of the runners was Marie Pejcic. The junior received very high praise from her Coach. “She is probably going to make it states,” Coach Kim stated, “and she has the second fastest time in Hammond records.” Pejicic was able to run an impressive 20:55. The only girl to have a faster time the Pejcic was Nicole Dawson at 20:32 back in 2008. But Pejcic wasn’t the only runner that stood out to Coach Kim during the season. Freshman Mackenna Hunter was a runner who caught Coach Kim’s eye as well. Hunter was one of the most improved runners on the team “She’s done really well,” Coach Kim spoke. Coach Kim also mentioned Wayne Low. Although Coach Kim did not have her running times available, she said that both of them have dropped 5-6 minutes off of their time.
Low said that he really likes the cross country team. “It was really fun,” he said. He is looking forward to doing cross country again, running, and pushing himself. He stated that he would like to improve his time and his scores.
For next year, Coach Kim believes that “the varsity squad is going to work together and get even faster.” She said that she feels as if they are at a place now where they’re going to see the amount of work they have put in this season. “If they run over the summer, they are going to be able to get into the seventeens and they will probably be able to put us in place on the result charts.”
Overall, the Hammond High School Cross Country Team has had a great season, and they are looking forward to their next season!