The School Newspaper of Lawrence High School.

The Budget

The School Newspaper of Lawrence High School.

The Budget

The School Newspaper of Lawrence High School.

The Budget

Cross country team benefits from strong team culture

All eyes are on October for the state championship

The Lawrence High cross country team, led by coach Kyle Morgison, is working harder than ever. 

This season, they are attempting to recruit new members and build team culture.

The team started their season at the Manhattan Invitational. Usually, they have trouble being successful at the season opener. But ever since Kyle Morgison stepped in as head coach, the team has had a chance for a major comeback with the girls placing 7th and the boys 5th.

The last time the team won the state championship was in 2009, under former coach Brian Anderson. This year the team has faith that they can win state for the first time in 14 years.

“We haven’t been good since 2009,” junior Francis Alexander said. “But now we have a shot to be state contenders.”

Taking over for current assistant coach Laura Brensing, Morgison has new standards for the team. He has implemented rigorous training techniques that he gathered from Anderson, who was his coach when he was a runner at Lawrence High in 2006. 

Although the training is hard, it isn’t the only factor that contributes to the team’s success. The most significant change that players have noticed since Morgison took the lead is the emphasis on team culture. 

“Culture is the heart of any program,” Morgison said. “Culture stems from discipline, tradition, expectation, and excellence.”

One way that has helped them build culture this year is the coaches collaborating with team parents in support of the runners.

With the help of the parents, the team traveled to Colorado this summer, adding to another aspect of strengthening culture: team bonding. Senior team captains Emma Roman-Nose, Izy Klish, Danny Phalen, and Isaac Outka have taken the lead when it comes to bonding activities. They have lunches, dinners, potlucks, or even just hanging out outside of practice.

“It just gives you moments to think back on and laugh about,” Roman-Nose said. “And I feel like it allows you to learn about people that you don’t get to hang out with.”

The COVID-19 pandemic took a huge toll on the team, and they lost a lot of players, specifically girls. Coaches and players both have been trying to bring in new runners. The team’s goal this year is to work past failure and rebuild after the pandemic.

“By rebuilding, he has helped us become a more disciplined and put together team,” Roman-Nose said.

So many beneficial and important changes are happening to the cross country team this season. They credit their success not only to their running abilities, but to their team chemistry as well.

“Successful teams like and trust one another,” Morgison said. “If, each week, we have runners toeing the line knowing that they can trust the person next to them to do their job, we will see success come October.”

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About the Contributors
Mimi Rosado
Mimi Rosado, Reporter
I am a first-year writer on the journalism staff. When I'm not writing, you can find me at the gym or hanging out with my friends. I am very excited to be on staff this year, and excited to work alongside my peers.
Fin Tholen
Fin Tholen, Photographer
I'm a second-year photographer on the journalism staff. When I'm not taking photos, I study German and do martial arts. Last year, I won an award for my photography. If you're looking for me, you'll probably find me in room 306.

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