Cross Country - Girls Varsity

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New England Division III CHAMPIONS 2009

ISL and New England Division III CHAMPIONS 2008
New England Champions Division II, ISL Champions and Undefeated season 2003 and 2004

Girls' cross-country began in 1971, when coach Mike True welcomed the first girls to then Governor Dummer Academy since the turn of the century. In 1980, the existing course was expanded to its current length, 5 kilometers (3.1 miles), in order to standardize the length and to better prepare runners for collegiate course lengths. Recognized as one of the most challenging courses in New England because of its varying terrain, hills and turns, it has hosted both league and New England championship meets, as well as the Yankee Runner Short Run, held for 17 years. The current course record for high school girls is 18:40, and the current school record is 18:54, set by Keara Thomas ’07, only the second runner to break 19:00 on our course.

Since cross-country is really a two-season sport, runners are given a summer training program at the conclusion of the school year in May. In addition to training on their own and with local teammates, runners are also encouraged to attend one of the many summer running camps together in August. An on-campus pre-season in early September, by invite only, includes twice daily workouts, popcorn parties, running videos, beach runs, talks by famous runners (Jen Toomey in '07) and surprise outings.

In the regular season, practices are often preceded by a full team meeting (both the boys' and girls' teams often train together), creating a supportive and fun team atmosphere in which everyone can participate. Coaches help every runner set personal and team goals for the season, providing as much guidance as possible. Instruction emphasizes building toward a peak for the two championship meets in November. A methodical progression, centered on fun, varied workouts (based on current and tried-and-true principles), and personalized workouts, is applied. Quality of training is more important than quantity, and we run on natural surfaces as much as possible, both on- and off-campus. The teams bond throughout the season both during practice and in several activities centered on togetherness and food. Being a member of this program requires the athlete's strong commitment to hard work; the rewards are a positive team experience, increased self-confidence, motivation, self-discipline, and the opportunity to run faster than she thought possible.

In September, October, and November, the Governors run in seven league dual, tri, or quad meets on one Wednesday and successive Saturdays, which allows optimum time for training and resting during the week. The first meet of the year is an informal meet against a local running club. Normally, the top 7 girls are designated as varsity runners in weekly meets, although all girls run in the same race. A junior varsity girl can move up to the varsity as soon as she runs faster than the last varsity runner in any given meet. If a team or individual is qualified and so chooses, participation in post-season competition is supported.

This year’s co-captains Hollen Knoell and Cara Nugent will build on last season's successes and lead the team against the season's competition.

Head Coach Jeff Kelly '85, Assistant Coaches Jamie Brayshaw, and Becky Stratton.
For more information, please email Head Coach Jeff Kelly

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