Column: Cross Country about team, friendship

Kaitlin Cordes, Cross Country Reporter

When most people think of cross-country, they think it is a sport focused on the individual. However, for Eastern’s team, it is much more than that.

In recent interviews with several runners, I have been told constantly how much the relationships between teammates are vital.

Running with a pack mentality gives the Panthers an edge over their opponents, and it shows in their consistent to finish at the top.

The cross-country relationships have moved well beyond the course to personal friendships outside of practices and meets.

Junior Maria Baldwin said recently that she and her teammates push each other, and her main focus is on how her team does.

The unselfishness that can be found throughout both the men and women’s teams truly make cross-country a team sport for the Panthers.

So many other sports revolve around the team performance and rely on individuals working together to win or achieve goals.

But how important are the personal relationships among teammates in these sports?

Friendships should be something teams strive for. Basketball, football and baseball benefit from cohesion.

Teams that have apparent chemistry tend to succeed a majority of the time. This chemistry comes easier when players get along and make attempts to truly know each other on a personal level.

The Eastern cross-country team should be the ideal model for teams struggling with cooperation amongst the teammates and cohesion.

They abide by the “we before me” team motto, and this is what makes them top-notch competitors.

Sure, personal bests and reaching individual achievements are nothing to simply brush off, but working as a unit is an achievement in itself.

Well-formed friendships between teammates can lead to a better athletic environment and dominant performances on the field, court or course.

The cross-country team can be compared to a well-oiled machine.

When one part is working properly, it allows the other parts to do the same. If parts are working against each other, success is impossible.

What makes teams like the New England Patriots, the San Antonio Spurs and the Chicago Cubs such dominant forces in the sports world? What makes them have such large fan bases?

You guessed it. Chemistry.

It’s easy to cheer on a team that clearly has talent, but it’s fun to root for a cohesive ball club.

The cross-country team easily ranks with the aforementioned organizations because they exemplify all of the elements that make these professional teams great.

No amount of practice or workouts can push a team toward success like a strong bond can. Friendship and chemistry are extremely vital to success in sports.

Kaitlin Cordes can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]