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Girls' Cross Country News

Rivals Team Up for Summer Training
August 2nd, 2011

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This past summer, rival girls’ cross country teams St. Pius X and Marist School worked together toward a common goal: bettering their teams. The past few months, every Monday morning, members of the teams and their coaches arrived at the Marist campus for an early morning speed workout.

Over the past few years, Marist has generously offered St. Pius the use of their campus for cross country practices. While great competitors throughout the athletic season, the teams realize they both have the same aspirations and are wise enough to realize they have the ability to learn things from each other. 

Students who attend private or Catholic schools commute from numerous places throughout Georgia, making consistently large practices difficult. By working together, coaches have the ability to instruct a larger group of runners at one time. This not only creates more competition, but also benefits both teams. The rival runners have gained a sense of camaraderie and have also developed great relationships through their common interests.

Head Coach Debbie Guilbeau enjoyed the variety of the workouts and said, “This is not a mandatory practice, but the girls want to be a part of this and as a result of these practices, our turnout has really improved.” The competitive workouts pushed the girls to run faster and build stronger teams. 

Eric Heintz, head coach at Marist explained that when he first began coaching, St. Pius X and Marist raced in the same region, and he was told of the great rivalry between the two teams. He realized, “More than that, we found that we have more in common than anything else, we can only benefit and come out stronger by working together.”

Students from both high schools felt that it was “nice to get to know people from different schools.” They said that the dual workouts “push both teams to go faster and make us better.”  Both coaches felt that the joint effort of all runners this past summer was highly beneficial and look forward to training together again next summer! 


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