Varsity cross-country at EHHS has small team, big challenges
By Frances Taylor - Staff Writer
East Hartford - posted Sat., Sep. 17, 2011
During a recent practice, the East Hartford High School Hornets cross-country team consisted of a few solitary runners on the track preparing for upcoming meets. This year, as it was last year, the turnout for cross-country teams has been low, particularly in comparison with spring track.
There are currently three members on the girls' varsity team, and four members on the boys' team.
There are many reasons for the low turnout, said girls’ coach Matthew Shay, who also coaches spring track. “Many of our players are doing volleyball right now, or participating in other activities,” Shay said. “East Hartford is mainly known for its sprinters. And cross-country is hard work.”
Members of the girls’ varsity team were training for an upcoming 3.1-mile race in temperatures near 80 degrees. This year's team includes Korinne Fruster, Aliyah Henry and Chedene Ewart. All three are members of the spring track team.
“I 'm doing this as training for the spring season,” Fruster said. “But it’s hard. It’s not as much fun as spring track.”
Henry called the sport “hard, long and time-consuming,” adding that, “there are more things to do this time of year that conflict with the schedule.”
Coach Tim Tinel, of the boys’ varsity team, said he faces similar issues with his team. “It’s been like this for the last few years,” Tinel said. “We do have a lot of competition from activities this time of year – they just have so many opportunities right now that it's hard for cross-country, as a sport, to compete with that.” Several of his spring team members are on the football team this time of year, he added.
This year's boys’ varsity team includes Tyler Good, Robert Green, Sharief Lewis and Tim Tiet. Good, a team captain, is a returning team member who also runs indoor and spring track.
Tinel said Good could have his best season this year. “He's dedicated, he works hard – he really wants to be the best,” Tinel said. This year's Wickham Park 2011 Invitational Cross Country meet will be held Oct. 8 at Wickham Park in Manchester.