By Alana Rettig
Lisa Je ‘14, a Chemistry major, has been on the girls cross-country team since her freshman year and is now one of the co-captains of the varsity team. The cross country team’s coach, Phil Zodda, describes Je as an active and dedicated member of the team.
Je says the best part about being on the team is knowing that there are always people there who are willing to back her up. “Even though we’re all going insane before the race, we’re all going insane together and that bond is what helps us get through it.”
Je shared that her experience on the cross-country team has not always been a great one and said, “I actually hated cross country when I first started because it seemed like just long, boring runs. But it wasn’t like that at all, cross-country is more than just running for long periods of time, it’s an adventure. When we go on free runs, we do more than just mileage; we explore and run through the trees and we get to enjoy ourselves while we run. Now it’s become my favorite season.”
Being on the cross-country team is no easy feat. Zodda explains, “We run from August to November. Cross Country is an outdoor sport, we run through everything from snow to cold weather to rain.”
Zodda is all business when it comes to running. “I’m interested in people who want to run and care about running, not people who are joining the team just for club credits.”
The team typically competes at Van Cortland Park in the Bronx. It is a challenging course that is used for many college races, including the Manhattan College Invitational, one of the largest cross-country meets in the nation. Van Cortland Park held the Varsity Borough Champs on October 26, where Tech’s top runners competed against other high schools throughout Brooklyn. The Girl’s team won the borough championships and the Boy’s came in second.
Zodda has high hopes for the team, “My goals for the team are to win the borough race, place top four in the city championship and qualify for state.”
Je’s advice to anyone who wants to try something new is to join something as early as possible and stick with it. “I was able to make so many friends as a freshman and not just people on the girl’s team. I’ve met so many boys and coaches and people from other teams and it’s just so exhilarating to know that there are so many people out there that love what I love.”