Dedham High's Cross-Country Team Excited About Upcoming Season
Dedham High School’s boys and girl’s cross-country teams returned to the pavement last week in preparations for their upcoming season.
Last year, both squads earned victories against Randolph High School, which according to the captains and coaches boosted both teams moral.
On Tuesday, Dedham Patch caught up with both teams to chat about the upcoming year.
Boy’s Cross-Country: Head Coach Bill Weschrob
How many years have you been coaching the team?
“It’s my fourth year, and each year we try to get a little bit better.”
How’d everything go last year? Do you hope to carry over some momentum from last year to this year?
“We had one win against Randolph, so some of the kids returned from last year to this year. What I do during the season is I track their performance and then show it to the kids like from week-to-week, and show how they’re doing with the time, so it seems to work well.”
How special was that victory against Randolph? What did it say about your team and how do you hope it will help the team this season?
“It boosted their moral. They still talk about it and it may have been why they came back [this season]. Some of these kids ran cross-country then they continued to indoor track and outdoor track, so we’ve kind of kept them going and we were able to talk about it, so we’re going against Randolph again this year, so we’re hoping to do as well.”
What’re your goals and objectives for the season?
“I’d like to get a win against a team that we go up against [in our division]. It’s always a good thing.”
Boy’s Cross-Country: Captains Sean Keneavy and Danny Sullivan
What do you enjoy most about cross-country?
“We love cross-country because it’s a good workout for you, it prepares you for whatever sports you’re doing in the winter or spring. We have a couple expectations after we got our first win last year in a while, and I think we have a pretty good team this year, even if we’re small we’re [still] looking good,” said Keneavy.
What do you remember most about last year’s victory against Randolph?
“That win last year was really good,” exclaimed Sullivan. “Considering that was our only win, it [provided us] with a huge confidence booster. It was just a huge confidence booster for the whole team.”
What’re your goals for the upcoming season?
“Well, some of my goals are just work as a team a lot this year. [We want to] use each other to improve. I think cross-country – some people might think otherwise – but I think it’s really a team sport because you need to work together to get to get each other through the race, and I just think we need to unite as a team because we’re a young team. And I just think as a young team, since we’re going to be together for two years now, I think we need to be able to build up some team chemistry,” said Keneavy.
Girl’s Cross-Country: Head Coach Liz Vail
How many years have you been coaching the girl’s team?
“This is only my second year, and it’s my third year in the district.”
Did you run cross-country in high school or college?
“I did. In high school and [at] Drew University, it’s a Division III school, but it was fun. It was a great team and I didn’t do it my [freshman] year, but was running all the time and the coach was like if you’re running all the time just do it. It was fun and then this position opened up two years ago and I was very excited to have a shot at coaching.”
How was your first year? How’d things go from a coaching perspective?
“It was good. We actually won – although it wasn’t in our league – they won their first meet in like six years or something like that, so that was exciting, just a really good group of girls. And even though it’s an individual sport there’s still a sense of teamwork and we had a lot of fun, too. We did some field trips to Whole Foods about nutrition and we [kept] running journals and all the stuff that tries to make running more fun and more invested in them.”
How’d the teams respond to those various activities?
“I think [it worked]. This year, my numbers are increasing a lot and I think they spread the word that it was more fun than just going out and just running.”
What was it like when your team earned a win against Randolph last year? How’d that boost the team’s morale?
“Well, it wasn’t in our league, but it still helped build team morale and it was a Friday, so it was just a great day [for the team]. It was great to see a confidence booster, too.”
What’re the team’s goals for the upcoming season?
“I really want them to get those [personal best times] and I do running journals, so they can keep track of it and I really love to see, they themselves, see their progress. I want them to have fun and take their high school cross-country experience and it take it further beyond high school and develop a love for running because that’s what I feel happened to me and I want them to have the same sort of feeling.”
Girl’s Cross-Country: Captains Hayley Driscoll, Gigi Grant and Laura O’hanlon
What’d you enjoy most about the season or team last year? How do you hope it’ll carry over into this year?
“I really liked it last year because Ms. Vail really made it a really fun season because she’s not really intense and I liked it because the team’s not too big, so we all get to hang out and I guess my goals for the season – last year, it’s harder for us to win meets because we are smaller than most teams and we only won one meet last year, so maybe my goal would be to win more than one meet,” said Driscoll.
What was it like to beat Randolph last year? How do you think that particular meet will help the team this season?
“Personally, I felt like that was great for me and the whole team. It made us more of a team and showed that we were capable of winning,” O’hanlon said.
What do you hope to remember most about this particular season?
“I want to remember the good times with the team, along with [the boy’s team] too. We have fun Friday’s where we play games sometimes and run around, and hopefully we’ll [win a few more meets] this year,” exclaimed Grant.