Senior team captain Connor Cushman led the cross country team to a 7-0 record. The regular season came to an end last Wednesday, but the boys team is currently expected to take fourth in state, according to Cushman.
Especially from a spectator’s standpoint, cross country is much different than any other sport. There are no stands; spectators run across the course to different points in the trail where they can best see the runners’ progress. Most of the spectators are in motion for most of the meet while the speaker reports runner progress over a loudspeaker. At the end of the race, finishing times are announced as the runners pass underneath a large, inflated arch.
In comparison to last season, Cushman describes this season as a complete turnaround. “I don’t think we won a meet last season, so this season we have improved by leaps and bounds,” he said.
Cushman described several factors that contributed to the newfound success of the team. “There [was] a lot more depth on the team this season, more people putting up good times,” Cushman said. Along with more depth, Cushman said there was more team chemistry that helped them grow together throughout the season, which, as a result, helped their performance in the meets.
Cushman also attributed their recent success to freshmen members including Roman Ollar, freshman, who is considered the second fastest freshman in the state.
This season was especially significant to Cushman, who was the team captain for the first time this year. “It was really cool to be able to take on a leadership role, and just take the younger runners under my wing,” Cushman said.
Although this will be Cushman’s last year running with West Linn, he plans to continue running in college; his top options are currently Southern Oregon and Gonzaga.