Conversations with Cross Country


Cameron Cummings, Writer

With the Covid-19 pandemic still raging, sports has been on the minds of all of the students at Bob Jones. While many sports have been delayed or canceled one sport has continued to thrive and prosper. That sport is our cross country team. Our team has consistently placed very well at each meet. With their meets occurring every Saturday morning our team wakes up and runs challenging courses located all around North Alabama. With the team practicing on Rainbow mountain they are well equipped to handle any challenge that comes their way on a course.Our girls team has made major improvements over a short amount of time. But we cannot forget our JV boys team with speed that is unmatched on the course as they dominate this season. They all have been improving their times. I took some time to interview some of the athletes on the team and the coach and this is what they had to say.

I interviewed James Garrison, a phenomenal runner that consistently places in the top 3. 

  1. What are your goals for the 2020 season?

Personally, my goal is the same as it is every year, to be better than last year. I’d also love it if we were able to place in the state competition as a team.

  1. What advice would you give a beginner running cross country?

 I’d tell anyone who’s just starting cross country, or running at all for that matter to stick with it. It’s hard to stay motivated at first with all the pain you put yourself through, but once you start seeing the results it’s definitely rewarding.

  1. What are some of the hardest practices you have experienced and how has improved your running?

The hardest practices I’ve experienced have ranged from running 10 miles total all the way to running repeats around the track. Although all of these practices have strengthened my legs, the big thing it strengthens is your mind. It helps you think “ this race is nothing compared to what I did last week” and that confidence and mental strength really help you push through tough moments in races and practices.-

 COVID-19 has definitely thrown a wrench into some of our season and practice plans as we have to find places to practice where we remain out of contact with people and it also takes time away from our workouts as we have to spend about 15 mins every practice to make sure we’re all following regulations. The nice thing about running though is that you don’t have to run with other people so if someone needs to limit their risk of COVID-19 they can still practice unhindered.

James (Gary) Garrison is a junior here at BJ and has been running cross country for our school for several years. He is the team captain of the varsity boys team. 

My second interview was with Hannah Thuss, an athlete that runs for the girls cross country team. She consistently places well at all the meets she attends. This is what she had to say:

  1. What are your goals for the 2020 season ?

My main goal is to stay healthy throughout the season and maintain my mileage through october.

  1. What advice would you give a beginner running cross country?

My advice for new runners is to stick it out through those first few months. Starting any sport is full of learning and adapting, and the best way to improve in cross country is to run without stopping each and every day.

  1. What are some of the hardest practices you have experienced and how has improved your running?

I’ve had many difficult practices since I’m training alone most of the time. I’ve found it especially difficult pushing myself on those days when I’m alone.

  1. How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected you this season and how do you plan to overcome it?

It hasn’t really changed that much in my training and I’m hoping our season will not end prematurely.

Hannah Thuss is a star athlete that has been training and running cross country for many years not only for Bob Jones but for other teams around the area. She is the team captain for the Bob Jones varsity girls team and helps coach them.