Cross country introduced theme days this year to transform the sport from simply an endurance-builder to a source of memories and unity. To understand just how unique an Archer cross country week is, let’s break it down.
Bun-Day Monday makes the start of the week brighter. Mondays are hard enough, and (to some) the thought of running four miles is far from appealing. However, the cross country team bounces onto the bus armed with ballerina hairdo’s ready for training on San Vicente.
Come Tuesday, the team introduces a splash of color to attack the daunting distance of the Santa Monica bike path with a burst of enthusiasm from Blues-Day Tuesday. With our blue shirts, socks, shorts, and shoes, we take on the terrain with fearless energy.
The camaraderie continues to the height of the week with Wacky Wednesday. The hills and the bluffs of Ocean Boulevard do not faze the team because the array of Christmas socks, crazy pony tails, and neon shorts of Wacky Wednesday keep up the giggles and smiles. Each week provides a new opportunity for show and tell.
Thursday is usually the day when it all pays off: time to shine, race day. Travel Thursday demands that the athletes wear their green Adidas Archer combination on an unfamiliar course in an unfamiliar place. However, any bystander would notice that Archer’s green is different than that of St. Monica’s and Pacific Hills. Archer’s green comes with excellent form and a smile beaming with panther pride.
When the end of the week arrives, the fun is at its height as Funday Friday brings strength training, team building and sprints. Regardless of how tough the work out is, the French braids of Friday’s practices illustrate the friendships that transfer off the track and into the classrooms and hallways. Together the braids sway from side to side as the sweat pours down. Funday Friday usually concludes with an activity just as challenging for the mind as for the body.
For the average cross country team, each practice is an opportunity to improve technique and times with sighs and whines throughout. But to Archer cross country, each practice is a holiday that we celebrate accordingly. Every afternoon, we remember how lucky we are to train with each other and unite around the traditions that have become so central to the little family of “distance divas.”
The future looks bright for the team as we move into the weeks of league competition. With the highest of ponytails and the silliest of socks, this team ended a strong season with a third place league victory. Senior Jasmine Chen sums it up by saying, “Our team was able to bond over the challenge, the competition, and especially over the fun traditions.” As another season wraps up, new traditions live on.