Runners cheat during meets

     “Runners on your mark: BANG!” Every cross country athlete hears these sounds at the starting line of a race. Runners have to race three miles as fast and as skilled as possible, but does every runner run these three miles and then finish? Or do they skip a little in between?

     “I hate cheating. It gets on my nerves, I am working so hard to achieve my goal, and when I see someone cutting during a workout, meet, or even a simple trail run, it really makes me upset,” Kevin Payne (12) said. Kevin, one of seven varsity runners, is the captain of the boy’s cross country team.

     Hereford has won the state championship many years in a row so we have to work extra hard to maintain that title. Our workouts are intense and serious so we do not have time for slackers.

     “I get very upset when I see cheating,” said Jason Bowman, the coach of the Cross Country team. ” I do not think that people cheat during a championship or an invitational because they don’t get the opportunity, but people could get confused and accidently cut,” said Mr. Bowman.

     To stop this problem, Kevin said, “We need to put hunting cameras in the trails and where the course is and also, have more people looking for cutters or people who are lost,” I agree.

     I was running in a meet about a month ago. It was an important league meet during which the girl behind me kept sprinting in front of me and then walking. She continued this until the second mile. As I reached my third mile, the girl was nowhere to be found. I finished up the course and asked my teammates if they knew where she was because I was concerned. I learned that the girl had skipped the last mile and finished way before me. Not only did that make me look bad, but it made our team get a lower score.

     Kevin said, “I think captains should be allowed to make [team] cuts just as much as the coaches can. We see more than the coaches and if we see someone cutting or not trying their hardest, we should cut them. Cross country is one of the hardest sports you can do. If you get cut from soccer or field hockey and join cross country just to stay in shape for next season’s sport, that’s wrong.”

     Running on the team is a privilege. Is it a lot of work? Yes, but there is no better feeling than running three miles and knowing that you are helping your team.

     “Cheating in all aspects is immoral,” said Mr. Bowman.