Starting this season, the MC cross country varsity team will be experiencing a significant change in the format of their meets. Instead of the traditional dual meets, the team will be participating in cluster meets, a change that adds a considerable amount of pressure and competition.
“Cluster meets have 6 schools running in them, [whereas] dual meets only have two schools,” said head coach Dennis McClanahan.
Regarding the reason for the format change, McClanahan says changing the meet format has been a planned intention.
“The North County Conference changed to the new format,” McClanahan said. “We have been looking at changing the past three years.”
McClanahan feels that the change will best benefit the team.
“Cluster meets offer more training time between races, better competition during the races, and better preparation for the end of the season championship races,” McClanahan said. “I am looking forward to the cluster meets as I think the better competition will benefit our athletes.”
Sophomore and borderline varsity member Nicole Grazda personally prefers dual meets.
“I prefer dual meets because there are less people and the starts are easier,” Grazda said.
In response to which format was best for the team, however, Grazda acknowledged that the challenges brought by cluster meets will benefit the team.
“Probably cluster because there is more competition,” Grazda said.
On the other hand, Junior Sarah Chidgey prefers cluster meets and doesn’t mind the change.
“I like cluster meets,” said Chidgey. “It feels like a mini invitational and there are more people so there is not as much pressure.”
However, Chidgey went with dual meets when asked which type of meet would benefit the team more.
“There is more competition [and] there are less people,” said Chidgey. “You want that spot, so I feel like we would work harder if it was just two teams.”
Overall, this cross country season will be sure to bring excitement and promise, with a hardworking team and a challenging new format to match.