The Student News Site of Cape Coral High School

The Seahawk's Eye

The Student News Site of Cape Coral High School

The Seahawk's Eye

The Student News Site of Cape Coral High School

The Seahawk's Eye

Cross country makes school history again

Boys and girls cross country led an extremely successful season this year, making it to states on November 17th.

“The girl’s team has been close to going to states the past few years and we were finally able to make it happen this year,” said junior Makiah Michaels. 

For the boys, this is the fourth time in Cape High history that they’ve gone to states, with the second and third times being only in the past two years.“I thought that states was one of the most fun and unique experiences of the season,” said junior Ben Westerhouse, “and that is something to never forget.”

 This is the first time both girl’s and boy’s cross country teams have gone to states together. 

In the entire state, boys took 13th and girls took 22nd. “We [the girls] were all going in without experience,” stated Micheals, “we were happy with our results though.”

The pathway to states was just as successful, if not more so. “Nearly every runner had set an all-time best this season which is a testament to their work ethic and commitment,” stated Head Coach Robert Berkey. 

The North Port Invitational on September 22 created a lot of personal records for the runners at Cape High, including Micheals with a  21:09 for a 5k.  “We usually thrive very well against well-known or local competition,” said Berkey. 

Another strong race for both teams was at the Lee County Athletic Conference (LCACs) on October 19th. Both boys and girls won overall. 

Senior Mia Moran’s favorite part about Cross Country is “going to meet and seeing everyone get ready and focused to race.” 

Michaels also enjoys the meets, and is getting prepared to run. The team has a tradition of pre-race huddles, which is meant to encourage the team to perform their best. “Most people get super nervous during this, but I get really excited,” stated Michaels, “I know that my team and I are about to race really well, which excites me.”

“I think that the team has shown a lot of determination and support for each other,” stated Moran. With practices 6-7 days a week, the team has been able to bond, which gets them even more excited for meets.

Although there were some injuries this season, this did not limit the team’s dedication or motivation for the sport. “We just had a higher level of commitment to the overall training process and individuals filled bigger roles than usual since we graduated some critical seniors last year,” said Berkey. 

Westerhouse agreed, also feeling a loss from the class of 2023 graduating. “I noticed that over the season that the cross country team had grown to fill the gaps from the previous season,” said Westerhouse. “And to race and compete with those repairs better than ever and make it to states for the first time for both teams.”

Another strong quality of the team this year was accountability, which strengthens a team and its discipline. 

“My favorite parts with the team are them pushing me to do better at the meets and giving everyone support,” stated junior captain Nazayer Franco. The team gets motivation not only from their coach but from each other to do better. 

However, one thing Berkey strives to do is challenge his team differently, stating, “We don’t always challenge in ways that we should.” His goal is to maintain their high energy at every meeting, no matter the difficulty. 

One big change in the girl’s team this year is their headspace and amount of confidence. “Last year, I was not very confident in how I raced,” stated Michaels, “but I was a lot more confident this year, and that showed in my times”

“I did better this year with a strong mindset during the race,” said Moran. According to Berkey, mentality is important both while training and racing. 

“It is a dynamic sport that takes intense mental commitment and strength training,” Berkey said, “Not only is the training difficult, but it must be adapted for different individuals who have different strengths and weaknesses.”

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