Cross country team competes at CCA invitational


Abby Siu

Alexandre Leroy (12) finishes a four-and-a-half mile run at practice. The team is preparing for the next invitational tomorrow.

Abby Siu and Swasti Singhai

The cross country team competes in a series of races separated by grade, the cross country team at the CCA Invitational, Sept. 4. 

Even though it’s early in the season, Alexandre Leroy (12) said this was the team’s best performance of the season.

“I think we were a little bit rusty at the start, but we’ve been getting better and better at each race,“ he said. 

Leroy led the Wolverine senior boys with a time of 15:34 in the three mile race. 

This invitational, in particular, was a true test of perseverance for Leroy, coming back after a stress fracture in his leg, and significant time off. 

“I’ve been working my way back up into fitness,” he said. “This is the first race that I’ve really felt like I’m back in my rhythm.” 

Leroy’s running career started after he stopped soccer, and looked for other ways to stay fit.

“There’s just something special about the way you’re overcoming challenges,” he said. “Your trajectory in running is not very straight all the time. You might have injuries, you might have off-days and when you can rebound from that, it really makes you feel proud of what you can do, and it teaches you a lot about yourself and how much you’re willing to push how hard you run.”

Leroy’s injury required him to focus on incremental improvement, as well as changing up how he practiced running in general.

“I’m really trying to listen to my body a lot more this year,” he said. “Normally when you run you want to stick to a really rigid schedule, but I’m not really doing that anymore. If I feel like I’m hurting somewhere that shouldn’t be hurting, then I take some time off or I go easy.”

In order to make sure that he’s not overdoing it, Leroy shortened some of his workouts, as a result, it helped him a lot with training.

Leroy ended up landing him sixth place out of the 131 senior boys at the meet. 

While Leroy’s progress came from taking it slow, Adrian Welton (10) progressed with structured training. 

During the invitational, he ran with the seniors, placing 23rd with a time of 15:56.

When Welton first started cross country, it was in the middle of COVID-19, so this will be his first year in person for the sport.

“When I first started, I had nobody in the program to guide me through it,” Welton said. “ I just had to ask coach and eventually, after several months, they said you can run in practice.”

This was Welton’s first three-mile race, after only running two-mile races before this.

“Although I did well, I didn’t run very smart, because I have no experience with three-mile races,” Welton said. “That’s something I need to work on, learning the distances, my paces, my splits, everything.”

To train for upcoming meets, Welton runs five to six miles, six days a week.

“[I like running because] it gives you a lot of time to self-reflect and think about everything you need to do in the day and it’s peaceful,” Welton said. “Just going out and running for 45 minutes a day. I like it. It’s simple.”