The first shot begins the race and marks the start of the Marauders 2023-2024 cross country season. The Marauders season started off on Sept. 16 in Huntsville, Alabama where they exceeded their expectations. The Marauders were faced with many unexpected obstacles, but never gave up.
Maclay’s immediate success was not just given to them but earned. Through the hot and cruel summer conditions, the Marauders did whatever it took to adapt and flourish in the heated environment.
“The practices throughout the offseason prepared me for the meet by improving my speed, strength and mental toughness,” freshman David Barton said. “All the tough workouts really helped me prepare for the meet and showed me what I needed to improve on before the meet. The coaches helped me prepare by assigning workouts for me to do that helped me improve my weaknesses.”
With the unpredictable temperature and climate that Florida encounters, the Marauders had to race in rain and fog that left the course covered in mud. However, the Marauders’ preparation greatly aided them in succeeding and didn’t let the mud stop them from achieving their goals.
“I don’t believe the weather had too much of an impact since we were all able to set new PRs,” senior Charlie Rust said. “We went into our races knowing that the weather wouldn’t be the best, but we pushed through and kept a positive attitude that we would do great.”
The intensive training and early morning workouts that the team completed throughout the summer showed during the race. Each individual on the team had a goal in mind and every runner on the boy’s team achieved a personal record (PR).
“The team did really well,” junior Lucas Gomez said. “All the boys got PRs which was great considering the course got muddy with the rain. Everyone is starting to see all the summer training pay off.”
The race was a success; however, there were small errors that the team would like to straighten out in the upcoming weeks. They will continue to work toward cleaning up minor setbacks to get them into the postseason.
“I think as a team the boys need to work on pacing for their first mile,” Rust said. “Even though we were able to all set new PRs we were getting slower from our first mile to our second.”
From last year to this year, all the athletes have greatly improved and the runners’ training has shined through their first race of the season.
“I think the team performed really well,” senior Olivia Bishop said. “We ran better than we did at this meet last year which means we are improving. I think we still have a lot of room to improve but it is still so early on in the season.”
The Marauders have already begun their preparation for the next meet and plan to clean up their mistakes and improve as a team.