Skyline Cross-country Battles in an Injury Plagues Season

Sanskriti Sudip, Forum Writer

The ending of October is just around the corner which also includes the end of the Skyline cross country season. Every year the cross-country team faces a new set of problems, members, and races. This year however the runners this season are facing a unique circumstance making this year difficult. Many runners are injured and seem to be struggling at practices and races from this situation.

Some have even had to step back from running to focus on healing physically before getting back into it, for example former cross country member Larissa Sambotin. “I’m not doing xc this year due to an injury,” said Larissa. “I have a hip impingement and torn labrum on both hips. They are overuse injuries. I am waiting for surgery so that I can recover and be able to run. I cannot run until after recovery.” These are unknown injuries and Larissa has not found out whether this was caused by the sport or genetics. She sadly is not the only one facing this type of adversity. Cross country captain Somya Prasad is facing an incident like Larissa. “I have neuropathy,” said Somya. “Neuropathy was something I was dealing with outside of cross country due to genetics and when I did not eat enough. I faced shin splints as well. This was caused by cross country though. I was able to recover by being kind to myself, taking needed rest, and slowly assessing my limits back to a point where I felt comfortable with normal discomforts of running.”

A very inspirational captain Somya Prasad is. Coincidentally the second cross country captain Anna Tasky is dealing with the struggle of injury due to the rigorous sport. “I had a foot injury, more specifically my fifth metatarsal on my left foot from changing form due to a blister I had on the inside of my foot. My injury was from running. I am still recovering but I can run again. I am doing physical therapy exercises after my runs and ice to prevent the injury from getting worse. I am not 100% back in shape yet, but I hope to get back in shape in time for districts on Saturday, and so far, this week I have not had any serious issues.”

There are many more runners on the team like Somya Prasad and Anna Tasky. Many runners are going to physical therapy for recovery. “I’m in cross country this year but I wasn’t able to run at meets because I injured my knee over the summer,” said cross country member Maya Kophs. My injury is called patella tendinitis, but most people call it runner’s knee. I am still in the process of recovering with physical therapy.” Maya’s best friend Selma Kheriaty is doing the same thing as well. “Some injuries I faced were spraining my ankle, shin splints, and irritation of the hamstring. I mostly recovered by icing, taking a break from running, and going to physical therapy.”

In the comparative years prior, it seems like the team is taking a huge loss from this identical problem. Has the team’s performance decreased by this distinctive state the runners are in? “For the girls’ team, it has definitely impacted our performance,” said captain Anna Tasky. “I was supposed to be a lot faster this season and Sydney Collier would have been up with Anna Callahan and Rebecca O’ Keefe, which would give us a good chance at winning the state, but I would say we are doing very well considering the situation we are in.

According to Anna Tasky the fastest girl on the team Sydney Collier had a hamstring injury in August and is recovering from being sick. She was unable to participate in KingCo.

“3 out of 7 of our varsity runners on our team are injured right now”, said Somya Prasad. “Almost every other week there is a new injury or some sort.”

What is the underlying reason for all this chaos? Is it from lack of practice, or too many people quitting? “I think this is because of how inconsistent meetings have been due to the air quality, lack of actual rest days, no stretching and we don’t really take time to ourselves to actually recover,” said Somya. According to Somya the team did not even place in the “Hole in the Wall” meet. “I think there is an insufficient training plan,” said Sky McBreen. “We aren’t as strong as we were last year, especially because of the number of injuries and how that decreased the morale of the team.”

Cross country member Maya Kophs gives a different insight on what the root of the problem could be. “I think runners are definitely facing more injuries than last year because most people have been unhappy with their times due to an uncertain expectation of themselves,” said Maya Kophs. “In my opinion, this expectation has pushed many runners harder than usual, and an injury could be the result of this.”

Condolences go out to all the runners’ facing injuries. There are high hopes that next year’s season will be stronger compared to the 2022 season.