One family, all teams: Cross country reaches out

Drum Major Lydia White takes a water break during summer band.

Montana Mooney

Drum Major Lydia White takes a water break during summer band.

Montana Mooney

You hear or see it every day. Our school stresses the concept. We are supposed to be “one family, one team,” but what does that mean? Go to just one cross country meet and you’ll find out immediately, just like I did.
In order to photograph the meet, I had to ride the bus with the team. The day started early, 6:45 to be exact. Everyone was very welcoming and very kind considering most everyone had just rolled out of bed.
We drove down a road that seemed fit for about one car, much less a bus, but we made it to the meet at Camp Perkins and set up our site under a large shady tree. Camp Perkins was beautiful and the weather was perfect.
The teams started warming up and pretty soon our varsity girls were preparing for their race. The gun went off, and the girls began their 2.3 mile run. The rest of the cross country team began walking up discreet paths to cheer on the Lady Raiders.
Everyone was really enthusiastic and encouraging, but at the same time they were all enjoying themselves. We would cheer on the runners or take a break and grab a popsicle to eat under the big shade tree we had claimed as our own for the day.
Pretty soon the guys were running. During their race a few of the girls and I began our trek up a hill to help out the boys. We were all laughing and having a great time, but suddenly one of our girls fell silent.
We all turned the way she was looking and sprung into action. We began running back down the hill towards the boy from Hirschi who was as pale as a ghost and collapsed on the ground gasping for breath. He was helpless, but our girls changed that. They immediately gave him their water and ice to cool him down until a trainer came to his aid.
In that moment, I saw the reality of “one family, one team,” and that reality goes beyond the walls of Rider.
After helping the boy, we all returned to the race and finished the day with quite the victory, on the scoreboard and not. Not only was this team kind and helpful, but they were good at what they did. The varsity girls ended up in fourth and junior varsity finished first with a perfect score of fifteen, and together both teams had eight girls in the top ten.
All day I could tell they were enjoying themselves and their time with their peers. The team was constantly laughing between seeing deer on the edge of the meet, to the bus ride, to bonding in Chicken Express before heading back to school. Everyone was happy and having a blast.
That day made me realize how lucky we all are to be surrounded by the peers whom we have. Be a Raider with pride; you might be surprised at the incredible effect you’ll have on others.