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The LEAP Student Blog

Allison Yajko, Skyview HS: "Skyview Cross Country: Most Spirited"

Author: Allison Yajko
Grade: Junior
School: Skyview HS
Mascot: Storm
League: Greater St. Helens
Classification: 4A

Skyview Cross Country:  Most Spirited
As the end of another fall sports season comes around, along with it comes the gloom of not seeing your team every day and working out together. A unique bond forms within a team throughout those four months(ish) of the fall season, making it particularly hard to say goodbye as the season comes to a close.

This is especially true in Vancouver, Washington for Skyview high school’s cross country team. It’s not uncommon to hear things like “I hate running, but the team is just like my family”. Besides our outstanding excellence in camaraderie, Skyview’s cross country teams perform pretty well too. This year the girls team qualified for state as a team for the third year in a row, after placing seventh at regionals, and second at the district competition. Despite the understanding connection created by suffering the same pain during races, some of the best bonding happens when we’re not out on a run. Team dinners, bus rides to and from races, community service in the nature trails we run on, bowling nights and staying in hotels together at regionals and state have all combined to create some especially wonderful memories.
A particularly unique bonding moment our team had this season was when a race was taking place on a golf course, and we had arrived early to walk the course and while doing so, one of our teammates got hit by a golf cart containing a grumpy golfer, upset at kids in the way of his apparently very precious golfing time. Dozens of memes spiraled out the incident, and were sent into our mass group chat. This sparked humorous conversations and memories to look back
Our goofy hijinks didn’t stop there. Later in the season at regionals, the girls varsity team decided to do a wig exchange, and we proudly wore our new hairstyles to dinner that night. Earlier in the year, a team dinner included (student organized) Gatorade drinking competitions, cornhole, and games of Twister.

It seems to be the unwritten rule of Skyview cross country to make sure no one is left out, because no one ever is. Our unity apparently became extremelyobvious at a certain race this year. Two injured athletes from another team spent what would have been their race time, searching and listening for the team to win the “Most Spirited Team”
award. During awards, Skyview was called up to take what was rightfully ours, the Most Spirited Team award. At our banquet at the end of the season, our cross country team got awarded “Best Fall Sports Team” in our school district.
The support and love we have for one another is noticed and admired by many, but we would be treating others the same despite an audience or not,going along beautifully with one of our school wide standards ‘Integrity’. The boys and girls teams, varsity and JV, all grew into one huge family over the course of the year and this especially helps the freshman, making a 2,000+ student body seem a little smaller. We are always all in it together, making others feel welcome and creating a spectacular communityof runners to carry on our teams values and togetherness. And hopefully a winning tradition. As members begin to graduate, although they will be dearly missed, our team seems to become stronger every year in two aspects, both ability and unity.

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