The Student News Site of St. Mark's School of Texas


St. Mark's School of Texas
10600 Preston Road Dallas, TX 75230
The Student News Site of St. Mark's School of Texas


The Student News Site of St. Mark's School of Texas


Cross Country places first at Paschal Invitational Meet

The cross country team after their first place finish at the Paschal Invitational Meet.

For the cross country team, practice did not start when classes did. Instead, during this year’s blisteringly hot summer, they were hard at work on the track, and the training has clearly translated over to the team’s results. 

Last weekend, the team’s progress was displayed at the Paschal Invitational Meet in Fort Worth. They earned first place, beating out other rival Southwest Preparatory Conference schools.

“There were some public schools, but there were mainly a lot of SPC schools, so to win that really puts us in a good position for the real SPC,” senior captain Raja Mehendale said. 

After training all summer, they finally got to see their hard work pay off.

“It’s very hard to continue training when you’re just not seeing your progress,” Mehendale said. “You just have to trust that what you’re doing is the right thing, and we had great buy-in from the team this year.”

The pre-season practices have helped them improve the quality of training during the season.

“We’ve built such a great base,” Mehendale said.” We can do more speed work and more race-prep now, instead of building our base later in the season like we have in past years.”

That foundation has given them a head start over many competitors, and for the whole team to consistently dedicate their summer to the sport reflects the difference in commitment compared to previous years.

However, cross country is not always about training hard. This year an emphasis on teamwork has played a crucial role in the team’s effort to build comradery, and Mehendale believes that a good relationship with the rest of the team is necessary for success.

“When you’re getting on the line to run that 5k, you know that you are going to go through an immense amount of pain,” Mehendale said. “But you’re doing it for your brothers on the line with you, and they’re doing it for you.”

Mehendale believes that the little things matter more than people know, and apart from dinners, the team occasionally plays mini golf together and grabs breakfast in the morning. 

“We’re doing team dinners every Thursday before meets, and that’s really helped bring us together,” Mehendale said. “Cross country is a team sport, and people don’t really understand that.”

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About the Contributor
Christopher Guffey, Staff Writer