Cross Country Will Look Different When The Sport Returns
(CEDAR HILL, TX) The Cedar Hill High School Cross Country Teams are preparing for their first meet of the season.
The Longhorns will debut at the Kennedale Wildcat Run on August 21, just south of Fort Worth.
Cross Country, because it is an individual sport, is ideal for social distancing, but there will be adjustments made to deal with the COVID-19 Pandemic.
The starting line, which is usually crowded, will have to be staggered.
The teams have been voluntarily training this summer, both individually and as a team.
“The scholar-athletes have their standard check in, with a temperature check,” Cedar Hill Girls Cross Country Second-Year Head Coach Jason Reed said. “Once they pass that, they are ready to go. They are divided into two groups (for social distancing).”
Reed, who also coaches Track & Field for the Longhorns, returns several experienced scholar-athletes, including Hope Giadolor, Tamara Beasley, Kayla Salter, Erin Berryhill, Makeya Tucker, Daphne Jones, Kelci Robertson, Savannah Holloway, Fikayomi Johnson, Cameron Minor, Mikiya Patterson, Neveah Rodriguez and Essence Dupree.
Cedar Hill Boys Second-Year Head Coach Katherine Neale said her team has trained on campus and at Cedar Ridge Preserve. The experience on varied terrain will give the team an advantage, although many of their competitors visit the Preserve as well for training.
A Competitive Advantage
Senior Jorge Rodriguez, junior Pierre Anderson and sophomore Kevin Howell are expected to lead the Longhorns this fall.
Rodriguez finished just outside of the top 10 at last season’s district meet at Joe Pool Lake.
Neale, who ran cross country in Richardson ISD, was on the CHHS Girls Basketball Staff for nine seasons.
She foresees great things for the cross country program.
“We have a great group, and they are very enthusiastic,” Neale said.
Cedar Hill hopes to boost cross country with the middle school programs, which have been thriving at Bessie Coleman and Permenter middle schools, respectively.
Neale said she’s confident the season will start on schedule but noted that her scholar-athletes will be prepared either way.
“We will prepare as if we have a season,” Neale said. “The worst thing we can do is to be unprepared.”