Heading into the new season full sprint

Freshman Will Hamburger reflects on his experience with the cross country team

The start of the new school year marks the beginning of fall sports including cross country, where new freshmen are also able to join and participate. One freshman runner, Will Hamburger, has quickly paved his way in the cross country team.  

“I started with my Sunnyvale Middle School cross country team,” Hamburger said. “I also do a couple races a year on the side for fun, such as a 5k, 15k, or half marathon.”

Hamburger said he joined cross country because he enjoys the physical and mental aspect of long distance running. 

“Cross country is on your own, as long as you are doing the right thing,” Hamburger said. “If you’re not, the coach will tell you what to do.”

To Will Hamburger (fourth from the left), cross country brings to mind soreness, self-motivation and strategy.
(Photo courtesy of Will Hamburger)

The season kicked off with a victorious start, with the freshman and sophomore team winning the Ed Sias Invitational, their first meet of the year. That was his favorite moment so far, the runner said, because he felt the point he was trying to prove had come across.

“My goal is to win every race, keep getting faster, and bring my mile time down to a certain time,” Hamburger said.

Despite having personal goals, Hamburger also said he appreciates how the team is doing as a whole. The sport is a great mix between having a supportive team environment and being able to succeed individually at the same time, the athlete said. 

“Most people don’t know [cross country] is as much of a team sport as it is,” Hamburger said. “The top five individuals on your team are the only ones that matter for placing. Whatever place those runners finish at is how many points your team is given. Once you add up your team’s points, whatever team has the fewest points wins.

As the season progresses, races are going well and most things are as expected, he said. Cross country can take a lot of work, but the team is united by their shared love of the sport. 

“[Running] clears my mind,” Hamburger said. “When I run, I don’t think about anything and I enjoy that feeling.”