Steep competition at cross country Culver Invitational

Abbey Marshall | Staff Writer


Photo by Abbey Marshall from the Mason Cross Country Invitational.

Mason runners faced tough competition through the selection process for the Culver Military Academy meet, according to varsity boys’ coach Tom Rapp.

“We had to evaluate throughout the season, especially towards the end,” Rapp said. “There’s a bit of a team battle when there’s over a 100 on your team, but also quite an honor to actually be selected to go.”

According to junior varsity runner Nick Grismer, the selection process isn’t just based off of good times; there are other factors incorporated into getting a coveted spot to race at Culver. Among these factors are consistency in races and practices as well as age.

Girls’ varsity runner Leah Ford said that competition is intense for anyone competing to go, but especially right at the cutoff.

“People on the bubble to make it always try really hard and when they don’t [make it], you can tell that they’re a little upset,” Ford said.

The rigorous competition for entry into the Culver Invitational provides an elite race that helps prepare runners for the State cross country race.

“[Culver] is an imitation of State,” Grismer said. “[Culver helps us] learn to race against great teams like Carmel, Indiana.”

Despite the disappointment associated with the tough competition that goes into the selection and the race itself, the coaches know best, according to Ford.

“We just have to look at the coaches to make the right decision because they usually know what’s best for the team,” Ford said.