Cross Country kicks off their season

One hill of a sport

Photo courtesy of Jackson Stone

Photo courtesy of Jackson Stone

Alex Young, Author

Of all of the sports teams at Battlefield, the Cross Country Team is certainly one of the most hardworking. Led by Coach Kristine Maggs, the running Bobcats are looking to build off of the team’s success in years prior to this fall.


Starting off-season workouts as early as Tuesday, June 20, the majority of the team became accustomed to runs as early as 6:30 AM and as late as 6:00 PM during the summer months. Although these practices were not mandatory, the amount of runners that arrived made it seem as if that were not the case. At these workouts, a main goal of the team is to not only become better runners by dropping times but also to rid runners of what they call “race anxiety,” which is built up nerves that kick in right before the start of a race.


The Cross Country Team held tryouts during the week of July 31, which was the same date as the majority of fall Battlefield sports. Tryouts this year and in prior years have featured multiple days of time trials – this is where all runners have their races clocked, which then is a factor in deciding their position on the team.


This year the team is set up a little differently than in the past,” says senior Amy Wikiera. “After tryouts, the team was divided into a competing team and a recreational team. The competing team is much smaller, and has our most experienced runners. It’s the smallest team is Battlefield Cross Country history, but also one of the most talented.”


Although the team is split, there is no division among runners. The Cross Country Team is famous at Battlefield for team parties, cookouts, and movie nights; yet of course they watch what they eat because a Friday night feast is not always the best idea for a Saturday morning race.


Junior Maggie Harris says,”I have met some of the nicest, yet also some of the most determined people, while running for Battlefield. The team really knows how to push each other so that everyone gets better, not just one person. It’s really a team effort no matter the skill of each runner.”

When people say a lot of running is mental, they mean it. One of the most prestigious cross country races for Battlefield takes place at Oatlands, an area in Leesburg, Virginia., a national running site that tracks records and events, reports on Oatlands as being “a challenging course with distinct features that will press runners to work very hard.”

“A good example of the mental challenge faced by our runners is definitely Oatlands. Two miles into the race there is Jesus Hill, which feels like it’s almost 90 degrees up,” Wikiera adds. Jesus Hill is described by many runners as never-ending, but eventually after the race there is always a good laugh about what is on a runner’s mind going up it.

Coach Maggs is a very familiar face around Battlefield. Doubling as a B.H.S. Track & Field Coach, Maggs has a great relationship with her team. Since many cross country runners also tend to run winter and spring track, there is a lot of time to work on getting better and training to bring home another trophy. Listed below is a schedule of the first few races that Battlefield XC will be running in for the 2017 season:


  • Saturday, August 26 – Great Meadows Invitational
  • Wednesday, September 13 – District Meet at Bull Run Park
  • Saturday, September 16 – Oatlands Invitational at Leesburg
  • Saturday, September 23 – RVA Relays at Richmond
  • Wednesday, September 27 – District Meet at Bull Run Park #2


Make sure to come out and support the Battlefield Cross Country Team this fall!