Brandon Piteo

Running is tough, but it’s arguably harder to support. This great sport of cross country running can be confusing to some fans because there are no balls of any shape or size included nor are there goal-type targets. It is most certainly, however, a large and challenging sport. Not being confined to a field or court and spanning great linear distances, athletes who put their prowess toward running don’t put it towards the sort of fan showings afforded by venues like football arenas and ice rinks. Regardless, these swift striders still deserve recognition for their quick feats, and so I’ve decided to write this week about their success and notoriety in the current season.

The women’s cross country team has been excelling this year. The team grabbed a win in its first run of the season at the Dayton Flyer 5k. Opening the season with a first place finish is a great way to run a race. The team was then ranked sixth in the Great Lakes region. From there the team hustled to a finish at the Spartan invitational where four of the RedHawks finished in the top 15 and five finished in the top 20. This event did not include team scoring so that aspect cannot be reported, (sadly). Most recently, in a race where team scoring was reported, the team took second Oct. 2 at the All-Ohio championship. As the cherry on top, this week senior Kelsey McHugh was chosen as MAC cross country runner of the week. (It’s worth noting that the pick for male runners was senior Kevin Silver of our men’s cross country team). These events have proven to be a strong start for the 2009 season. A team like this should be acknowledged, even if its exploits are tough to witness and the sport involves not even a semblance of a ball.

Miami is a place of many teams and an abundance of talent, but we have this very centralized focus. It makes it seem like when the football team doesn’t perform one Saturday we should be crushed all week. God forbid what we think and feel should the hockey team not meet its lofty reputation in each and every showing. We could really do much more if we were spreading our support and concern so that more of the athletes at this school could get some appreciation for what they’re doing. We have all of these sports populated with phenomenal athletes, but I feel like most of us are unaware of their talents and accomplishments. You don’t need to go to every game or pat every player on the back (though I’m not trying to talk these acts down). For the team I’m discussing in particular, supporting them for the rest of the season would involve a great deal of travel. But what should be remembered is that they’re going to do all that traveling to support our school and its reputation. The runners of this team and the athletes of all our school’s other teams have talents, and they use them to benefit all of us with huge amounts of time, effort and sacrifice. We can’t always be there to support, but I feel like we would better serve them and ourselves if we kept ourselves aware of their achievements. School pride doesn’t have to and shouldn’t be a thing of the past.