Junior Max Sanderlin

You know those kids you see running in groups around the school in the wee small hours of the morning? Chances are, they are cross country runners. What is cross country anyway? Essentially it is distance running over varied terrain. Cross country typically takes place on uneven surfaces that can become more challenging with the help of Mother Nature. You can find cross country runners on course surfaces including anything from grass to mud, from woodlands to hills, and even through water. It is just as much a sport about physical stamina as it is about mental toughness and determination.

The Legacy Cross Country Team has a new coach this year and he is ready to make running through all of those obstacles fun! If his energetic and entertaining recruiting video is any indication of the types of workouts he incorporates, the team is sure to run harder, faster and longer than ever before. And he will be there to encourage and motivate them all along the way.

Every practice, Coach Heaton reminds the team that we could've chosen to stay home and sleep, but instead we decided to wake up and get better. He's at the field house before anyone on the team every morning, and he rides alongside us on his bike during our runs to make sure everyone is pushing themselves. – Junior Max Sanderlin (pictured above)

When David Heaton assumed the helm of coaching the team, he set out some realistic and yet optimistic goals for the runners this season.

His first goal was to double the number of runners on the team. ✅ He has grown the team from 9 runners to 18. His second goal was to start a consistent middle school program. ✅ One-third of the team of 18 is in middle school.

Robby Gay

New Sophomore Joseph Shultz

He also set out some goals for his team to work on throughout the season. He hopes to help the runners improve their form and efficiency. Yet another goal is to help them see running as an opportunity to learn more about trusting God when our bodies are weak.

Senior Robby Gay (pictured right) expressed that the most challenging thing about cross country is waking up early and getting to practices by 6:15 am. After that, he says, the three to five-mile run is the easy part, especially with Coach Heaton right alongside them.

The most challenging part of cross country is having a positive mindset while you are running. You have this constant voice in the back of your head convincing you to stop and slow down, but you just have to push through that. For me personally it’s really difficult because I’ve had leg injuries all throughout my cross country years and I just have to tell myself that I’m in it for the long run, literally. – Senior Bryn Taunton

The Cross Country Team will compete this Saturday at the McKinney Boyd Invitational. Go Eagles! Pass them, don't pace them!