XC and Track deserve more than what they get

Bekah Moenning, Head Sports Editor

Just to clarify, I am not writing this to bash all other sports that are not cross-country or track. I know the talent is overwhelming in our sports programs at Durango High School. However, it has come to my attention that football, as well as basketball, seem to be the priority, and quite honestly, it gets annoying. It is common knowledge that both these sports, especially football, are a big part of the American Identity, but why are they such a big part of DHS?

Everybody knows when the football games are, what time varsity basketball plays, and all the players that participate. I can’t say the same for cross-country and track. I understand the social calling during Friday night football games, but aside from this year when was the last time football made it to state? Basketball? Got a state title? The support from the athletic director and all of DHS is overwhelming for these sports and yet neither have performed as well as DHS’s cross-country and track program.

In 2015, the boys cross-country team won a state title and every year since then the boys have returned to fight for it again and again. The girls cross-country team never fails to make it to state and year after year they keep getting closer to being number one.

As far as track goes, every single year, individual members qualify for state and many of them stand on top of the podium. In 2016, my brother David Moenning won two state titles- one in the 800 and one in the 4×8. Alongside him were his teammates Seamus Millet, Harry Steinberg, and William Chandler. Watching that kind of talent is inspiring and makes you feel as if these types of athletes are invincible.

Teagan Garand has been to state every year since her freshman year, has podiumed twice with her 4×4 team, and I don’t doubt she will be going again. Madeleine Burns, Emma Fitzgerald, Abby Scott, and myself went to state last year for the 4×8 and ended up second. We plan to return and perhaps win a state title of our own.

Junior Alex Hise podiumed last year for the open 100 meter dash. Cassandra Blau, Lana Razma, and Danielle Lee went for the Sprint Medley and got to experience state for the first time. Aidan Fitzgerald and Harry Steinberg qualified for the mile and ran personal bests, and both boys were joined in the 4×8 by Coltin Gallegos and Aiden Urban.

Should I keep going? The list continues and each person is special in their own way. Every athlete that goes through cross-country and track has unbelievable, unmatchable talent. I can’t seem to grasp why we don’t get the same praise and support from DHS and the athletic program as a whole.  

I am not saying we deserve more recognition than that of the other sports at DHS, I’m saying we deserve it to at least be equal. I’ve heard time and time again that “track is so pointless, you just run in circles” or “why would someone choose to run a 5k”, but the people who say and ask these things probably have never seen a track meet, or a cross-country race. Nobody gives us a chance, and nobody understands just how hard these types of athletes work.

The work ethic runners have is something everyone should aspire to gain. Those are the athletes to be looked up to, to attain inspiration from, to praise. There aren’t words to express how proud I am to be surrounded every day by these athletes when I go to practice. How proud I am when I see my friends win races, run personal records, and never giving up.

Football is easy to understand. So is basketball, baseball, tennis etc. Which is probably why it is easy for the support to be so immense from the DHS community. I just wish people could see what I see when I look at cross-country and track athletes, which is a group of kids who have done something meaningful. Something powerful. Something courageous.