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By Grave Vomacka ’20 – September 15 2019

This past week has been a great week to be a friar! Our team has braved the elements, conquered tough workouts, and crushed Friday’s color day theme, all culminating in a fantastic race on Saturday morning.

Despite the intense heat in the beginning of the week, the team persevered through practice each day with no complaints. Additionally, a flooded path on our Friday run was not enough to stop us. We quickly found an alternate route for our run before heading to an awesome pasta party hosted by the Vacarros. 

This week was also a special week because of the LemonAID stand block party hosted annually on September 11th. Our Wednesday run was spent there, having fun and cherishing the community. On Thursday, we hit our second lemonade stand of the week, this one of the classic variety, hosted by neighborhood kids! 

Life gave us many lemons this week, and on Saturday we made some lemonade of our own. At Joliet, four athletes earned medals, four have now run under 20 minutes, and the frosh-soph team placed second! For just the second meet of the year, these results point to future success.

I am grateful to be a part of such an amazing team, and I am so proud of every member, especially on Saturdays after their work pays off. Seeing the team succeed and the happiness it brings everyone is priceless! Thank you to every runner, coach, parent, and supporter who made this week possible, and thanks to you, for reading the weekly blog!

-Grace Vomacka

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By Emma Salzman ’22 – September 9, 2019

I can’t believe our first meet is already complete. Everyone did an amazing job and we even had a few PRs.  Shoutout to Bella for getting top 10 in the frosh/soph race that is such an accomplishment. This team truly has come a long way from the first week of summer running camp. At first it may have been hard thinking we had to run 3 miles in a race, trust me 3 miles was a lot to me freshman year. Now everyone is running that on a day to day basis.  This team truly is a second family to me and I am so lucky I get to run with amazing people everyday,even when it is pouring rain outside and half of us don’t really want to be running in that weather. This team has made me a faster and a better runner and I am thankful that I have such wonderful people and coaches in my life. When I go on a run with everyone I just think of the very weird and some very random conversations we may have along the way.  Being apart of a family like this is just what I wanted at Fenwick and I am happy to say that I am apart of one. With that being said I wanted to give one big thank you to the coaches and the friends I made along the way for making this team my second home and a second family.
Thanks, Emma Salzman

By Camille Nourie ’22 – September 4, 2019

Hey Friars! Thank you all for taking the time to read our weekly blog! We have such an amazing community full of endless team pride and support. It’s really something amazing that I’d like to talk about this week.

First off, congratulations to everyone at Black and White! And when I say everyone, I mean everyone. We all managed to get to the course by 6:30 and run 3 miles by choice — this is something none of you probably wanted to do when you woke up (and yes I know for a split second you considered maybe faking sick just so you could stay home).

Oh and before I forget, shout out to the injured squad for showing up and cheering everyone on! Your encouraging screaming truly did motivate me to run faster. Showing up even though you weren’t required to run is a large selfless move that shows the dedicated dynamic of the team.

Also, a big thank you to Imogen for hosting the pasta party! Pasta parties are a lot of work to organize and cater. Thank you for letting the team into your home for a special pre-run team ritual. Everyone always has so much fun and it’s a part of my Friday I always look forward to.

Now, back to Black and White. For the first race of the season, I saw some really impressive times! For those of you who don’t think you did too hot, don’t worry! Failure is just motivation for improvement. My first meet last year wasn’t Black and White or KLM, which means it was at least the 3rd meet into the season. I ran a terrible time and was totally upset the rest of the day. I showed up to practice the next Monday and realized that failure only means improvement. For the next few meets, I dropped by at least thirty seconds to a minute in time from my previous meets. Today, I keep my motivated ways in hope of becoming even better.

This team (*cough cough* cult) might be one of the best things to ever happen to me. I am in debt for all the guaranteed love, support, and everyday laughs you all bring to me. Thank you and let’s grind it ladies!

By Delaney Seligmann ’21 – August 25, 2019

First things first. Thank you for reading this and for being a part of this team. I can’t explain just how excited I am for this season. I never thought I would ever be the one to say I am pumped to run KLM. ( For anyone new to XC this is the first course we run a meet at and it’s a little hilly) Every long run, workout, recovery day, and stride is progress that I can’t wait to experience alongside the greatest team at Fenwick. 

For the past five years I’ve known the month of August as the time I become the only child. My brothers pack their bags and leave for college leaving half of their belongings behind. Having one brother out of college and one in his last year, I have inherited many of these leftover items that aren’t of use to my brothers and are unable to be donated. A prime example would be a group of Fenwick yearbooks spanning over five years, all of which include two pages in the front half of the book picturing Fenwick’s past cross country teams. After briefly looking over the girls XC in each of the five books I realized a few things.

  1. There is no such thing as a bad season.

There really can’t be a bad season! Every season including this season has the potential to spawn lifelong friendships, incredible PRs and unique experiences.

2.  The team has grown significantly since 2011.

Imagine a team with less than 30 people. Our team now has a grand total of around 70 people! This sport draws in through its ability to bring people together through hard work.

3.  The team had a lot of slogans

“Pack it up!”  “Run fearless, Run Happy”.  “Breathe, Believe, Battle.” “Write your story.” A mental sport like cross country requires little things to think about during a race for motivation. 

4.  We all missed out on Coach Collins’ wedding.

5.  It is impossible to look good in pictures taken  during the middle of a race.

Fenwick XC has been around for quite a while and so have our coaches. Runners have come and gone through Fenwick for years. Every year is a new team. It’s time to ask ourselves how do we get our team to stand out? How do I differentiate myself from other runners? How do I leave a unique legacy? How will I be remembered? A positive attitude that never fails, a constant effort, and a hunger that is never satisfied. Though we may not always be in the mood to, we have to give this season our all. We all get what we give. We become what we do on a regular basis and attract the same energy we give off. Let’s head into this season with optimism knowing that even during the hardest workouts, we are together in our pain, uncomfort, and effort. We have nothing to lose and this season’s course is determined by all of us. 

By Alyssa Ruiz ’20 – August 19, 2019

I’d like to start off by saying thank you to anyone reading this, because if you are, that means you are one of the many reasons I joined and never quit cross country. Joining this sport my junior year was one of the most impulsive decisions I’ve ever made. I emailed Roche the night before official practices started and never (well, maybe sometimes) looked back. Of course you have those days of “why did I join this team” and “I can’t do it anymore.” But, those thoughts have never overpowered the feeling of accomplishment, the feeling of finding your family, and the feeling of crying laughing with your absolute best friends on the way to Maple for the hardest work out of your life. Although what seems like the most personal sport ever, cross country truly taught me what it means to be on a team. In other sports, you’re either good or you’re not. Benched or a starter. In cross country, you have the jokesters, the people who always need to spill tea, the insanely smart ones who complain about the stress of not 5, but 6 AP classes and my personal favorite, the one who trips over air on a long run. This sport isn’t about being good, it’s striving to be better. We are all made in the image and likeness of God, to clarify, we are ALL already SO good. Sometimes, we just need a little bit of help to be better. And that’s what this sport is about, yelling at someone behind you to catch up to you, cheering on people at races and never ever taking chocolate milk after workout days for granted. So again, thank you for reading this, for being you and for creating memories with me I’ll carry through a lifetime.

With Gratitude,

Alyssa Ruiz

By Maggie O’Malley ’21 – August 2, 2019

Going into freshman year, I was sure that I was not going to do cross country. Running did not come naturally to me and I didn’t enjoy it nearly as much as I do now. I did the summer running camp going into freshman year and ended up liking it more than I thought I would, but still did not love it. Unfortunately, I got a stress fracture pretty early in the season of my freshman year and did not compete at all.

With the injury that happened freshman year, I tried my best to go into sophomore year with a positive attitude about running. The summer running camp before going into sophomore year I got a little more involved and was really putting a lot of effort into it. Once the season started, I actually got excited for the races, and I always made sure to do my best in practices during the week so that I could get a new PR every race. I was really happy with how my season turned out, improving almost every week.

The past two seasons in cross country has definitely taught me many lessons that I will never forget. First, it taught me to not underestimate yourself in any way because if you work hard and put your mind to something, you can really do amazing things. I was never really a runner but I was motivated to get better and worked really hard. Two years ago I would have never thought that I would be in the place that I am today. Another thing that I learned is to never give up. You have to repeatedly put in work and if you don’t see results right away, don’t give up because hard work really does pay off. “Your mind will test you long before your body does.”