Cross Country Kicks off Season with Twelve-Hour Relay

Dawson Andrews ('18), Vivian Potong ('20), Kelsey Lee ('19) and Brian Barene ('20) run together during the Arlington Cross Country's twelve hour relay event August 29. The team went on to raise upwards of 4,000 dollars.
Jessica Abraham
Dawson Andrews (’18), Vivian Potong (’20), Kelsey Lee (’19) and Ryan Barene (’20) run together during the Arlington Cross Country’s twelve-hour relay event August 29. Being the team’s fundraiser, the team went on to raise upwards of 4,000 dollars.

Following their first week of practice, the Arlington Cross Country team held their annual twelve-hour relay fundraiser. With a goal of one-hundred dollars per athlete, the team set out to reach their goal in order to earn new team shirts, hats, and jackets.

After counting up the money brought in, cross country coach Mike Shierk revealed the fundraiser to have yield upwards of 4,000 dollars with the number still growing. “They generate a lot of money,” says Shierk. “We beat the track team, and I always like raising more than Mr. Hunter.”

Senior runner Kara Kamppi says “It’s a lot easier to want to go and fundraise than it is for the track team because the cross country team has a more laid-back family atmosphere that makes you want to help out.” Reaching the goal of one hundred dollars, Kamppi is excited to represent the hard work her team has put into the relay, knowing the memories that this team will build together. “After running four miles, we had a crazy dance party in the bleacher, where we did the conga line to Bop to the Top. It helped the new runners to break out of their shells and see the veteran runners more approachable than previously presumed.”

The new runners had to break out of their shell even more with planned activities such as dodgeball and capture the flag. With skills ranging from hiding in the corner with arms crossed to being on the front lines with a ball in their hands, every dodgeball participant was struck with the ball, but as the game stretched for the duration of forty minutes, the athletes had to rely on each other to the catch the ball to get back in game.

As a four-year veteran Kevin Mullin reflects, “I’ve always thought the best part of AHS cross country is the sense of team unity, and events like this really kick starts that sense of family that is noticeable among us.”