Written by Al Stover
On a Saturday morning, a group of students run to the field, accompanied by their coach.
This is the Wolf Point boys’ and girls’ cross country team. They will have their first meet Aug. 31 in Poplar. The team’s motto is “Run like a pack, win like a pack.”
The varsity team is made up of five boys while the JV team is made up of 12 junior high and elementary students. They practice at 6 p.m. on school nights and also having the occasional Saturday practice.
Most of the practices begin with warm up runs around different areas of the city.
Janet Erickson, Stan Moran and Stacey Summers make up the team’s coaching staff.
In addition to running in practice the coaches also have the athletes record entries in a planner that keeps track of the miles they run in practice, how they felt after each practice and the goals they have for the season. As runners fill out their logs, coaches will look at and comment on the runner and their progress throughout the season.
Moran said that one of the goals for the season is to help runners keep track of their progress, which will help them improve throughout the season. He also said that the Poplar meet will help the athletes get in some base mileage for the season and show the runners what they need to work on.
Erickson said that the coaches want to show the athletes what it means to be a team, as well as to have confidence and a sense of purpose.
“We want to show them what it means to put in all the hard work,” Erickson said. “We want to show them what Stan [Moran] calls the ‘culture of running’ and how running can help them throughout their entire lives.”
Journey Erickson, sixth- grader, is running cross country for the third year. She said she hopes to make every practice and improve her time.
Trey Fourstar, seventh- grader, is a member of the JV team. He said he joined the team last year to meet new people. Like Markell Blount and Journey Erickson, Fourstar also hopes to improve his time.
One of the varsity runners is Markell Blount, a junior who moved here from Frazer. He ran on the cross country team at his old school.
Blount said he wants to continue to improve and make all-state, as well as help his teammates. He said that running is a fun way to relieve stress. He also said he enjoys the competitiveness.
“I love the grind of the season,” Blount said.