Cross Country Travels to Virginia


Liam Furlong, Editor-in-Chief

The Salesianum cross-country team recently came back from a spectacular race in Leesburg, Virginia. On September 15, the varsity and JV teams, comprised of the top twenty-three runners of the total 104-man team, boarded a bus to Leesburg where, in less than a day afterwards, they would race against some of the most talented runners on the East Coast. After battling the race out over creek crossings, monstrous hills, and 90-degree heat, the boys managed to take a 3rd-place team finish back to 18th and Broom.

Of the over-60 teams that showed up at Leesburg, Sallies definitely had a fighting chance to take home the gold. The group that raced in Virginia ranged from veteran runners such as Lucien Peach and Austin Barry to rising freshman runners like Liam Kauffman and Luke Riley. “In the race, we got to race the number one team in the country,” said Barry, a senior who has been running at the Leesburg race since his freshman year. “The whole trip was just a great bonding experience for everyone that got to go, and it allowed our team to compete with the best team in the region.” When race time arrived, the guys in gold pushed each other to their limits and encouraged each other to strive for the victory; because of their powerful brotherhood connection, the Salesianum cross-country team took the race by storm and showed Virginia the true Salesian spirit that drives them every day during practice.

The course was certainly difficult, but the boys came and conquered no matter what was thrown their way. After the race, a notable detail all the Salesianum runners pointed out was the addition of running through the creeks. Many of the athletes had never done so in their cross country careers, and it provided a new experience that many of them enjoyed. “Running through a creek isn’t something you get to do everyday,” said senior captain Jacob Bates, “so it was definitely awesome to be able to have that opportunity. [Racing through the water] was something I’ll never forget.”

It is definitely safe to say that the boys all took something with them from this unique experience, whether their memories were running together through the creeks, cracking jokes over a team dinner, or cheering each other on at the finish line. The Virginia race was certainly an endeavor the Salesian athletes won’t soon forget.

“It’s not just a race, it’s the whole experience of going down to Virginia. We got to compete against some top teams, gain confidence for the season ahead, and get more comfortable with the people on our team, especially the few freshmen guys that came,” said senior captain and varsity runner Lucien Peach. Though the task was difficult, the boys put their months of training to good use, exceeded their personal limits, and challenged their teammates to surpass theirs. One thing is for certain: the team can and will only get better.