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True cross country fans know our sport is more of a team event than most outsiders realize, yet there are plenty of individual standouts as well.  So, while honoring the tradition we have started at DyeStat with Interval Sessions, which introduced you to the top individuals in both track and XC, we launch Fall 2009 with "Star Squad Spotlight," giving you a chance to get to know not just the top individual runners in the country, but also the best teams.

9.17.09star | aisling cuffe ny
  american fork ut boys | squad
 "Soccer began to be less fun and more competitive, and the opposing players got too rough for me.  By the end of my freshman year, I was a bench warmer who was so scared of being run over by bigger girls that I knew after the first week of indoor track, I wasn’t going back."   MORE "Four of the boys on varsity last year were rookies, and two of them were freshman, so they were really excited about this year...We were chasing Alta UT all last year, so to see them go [to NXN], and then to see them indoors in their gear, that motivated the boys. It was like, ‘We want that for us.’"  MORE
9.24.09star | connor adams tx
 iowa city west ia girls | squad
 "I do not get frustrated about being in Texas running.  I look at it as a privilege.  Not everyone gets to run at the highest level in high school against the top kids in the nation!  I feel honored to run beside them all.  I think if you want to be the best you need to run against the best."  MORE
 "Going to NXN in 2004 was amazing ...  Finishing 10th in the nation shows us that our program works.  Another trip would be great. These girls have worked really hard and, with their determination, I can see it being a goal of all of them, as well as Coach Parker and myself."  MORE
10.01.09star | rolonda jumbo az
  haddonfield nj boys | squad
 "Running is my joy in life; I do it for the love of it. Running makes me feel great.  An example is probably running in the rain—it is a beauty, right?  Well, every time I run I have that feeling.  I have a deep passion to run every day; without a run in the day, I feel as if that day wasn't complete."  MORE

 "Being ranked nationally during the preseason was an honor, but we try not to put too much emphasis on it. We knew that we had a shot at doing something special after last track season, and we have been working hard since the summer to try and make those dreams become a reality."  MORE
10.08.09 star | mark blackmon sc
  magnificat oh girls | squad
  "I think the most challenging thing was that I was always challenged by my teammates in anything we did, but it made me better in the end. Yeah, it really did make a big difference – because if I stepped up, it encouraged everyone else because they didn't want to get beat by a middle-schooler." MORE
 "Ever since the freshmen year of our current seniors, we as coaches knew this was a special and talented group of ladies. Every year our ultimate goal has been to keep the girls happy and healthy. As a result, they have had every opportunity to achieve a higher set of goals...and have done so." MORE
10.15.09 star | avery clifton ks
 henry jackson wa boys | squad
 "Running became my lifestyle. I look forward to it every day and my day is not complete until I have run. It is a time that I can clear my mind and set aside any worries I have at the time. ... I think I am running so much faster this year because I don't have the extra stress of tennis." MORE
 "At Falcon Running Camp, our team found a place to be alone to have a meeting with no coaches, just us runners.  We talked about the last two seasons and what was in store for this season. That night was really the spark in what got our inspiration going...we're really excited about it."  MORE
10.22.09 star | francis hernandez nh
 college park tx girls | squad
 "When I was in elementary school I hated running and wanted to keep playing baseball. I guess it's pretty typical for a Spanish kid who plays baseball to want to be the next Roberto Clemente. My mom signed me up for the Nashua Police Athletic Association and I started doing XC." MORE  "We have such a special group of girls this year, everyone from my freshman to my seniors. It is the first time we have a group of girls that really want to be in the program and really work hard to get better. The dynamic between the girls has allowed us to bond and really come together to work for our goals." MORE
10.29.09  star | heidi turner mt  brookwood ga boys | squad
 "I didn't quite fit in at the first practice; I was quiet and very shy, and I almost wanted to quit. However, it was a time trial, and and by the end I had beaten not only all the girls but the boys as well...When the first meet came around, I took off at the gun and placed in the top three."  MORE "Going into this season, we knew we had potential ... Coming off of a somewhat disappointing conclusion to our ’08 season, we felt like we had a lot to make up for. It has been a little surprising having the success that we have had thus far, but it's not at all time to celebrate." MORE
11.05.09 star | futsum zeinasellassie in
  lee's summit west mo girls | squad
 "When my father brought me to see Coach Stover when I was in 8th grade, he asked him if he would take care of me as if I was one of his own children from day one until I finish high school.  Coach said that this is what our team was all about.  He has done that, and I can’t thank him enough." MORE
 "I am a firm believer that helping young athletes build aerobic base is the only way to really help them reach their potential as a distance runner.  I think that in our society we want everything to happen overnight.  I always tell my runners to be patient and believe in the process." MORE
11.12.09 star | kelsey lakowske co
 henderson pa boys | squad
 " ... a crisp morning run through the hills with the Rockies at my back and dirt trails zipping under my feet - nothing is so soul-soothing ... I think I have both a love and hate relationship with competition ... I can't find satisfaction without pushing myself to do something I don't want to do." MORE
 "In the last kilometer, Coach Kelly told Bryan Andrews, Austin Stecklair and me that we were losing to LaSalle and we had to pass as many of them as we could.  The 3 of us were able to kick and get past a few of them...I was relieved that our team was able to pull it together and win." MORE
11.19.09 star | andrew palmer md
  chiles fl girls | squad
 "Personally, the trip to NXN was probably one of the best weekends of my life.  Nike makes it such a great way to end your season. Unfortunately, the race did not go nearly as well as I would have liked.  To be honest, I have not looked at the results and I do not know exactly what place I finished." MORE  "Last year, we learned that winning is fun. Not to sound short or silly, but it truly is. We have carried over that motivation to work hard ... to defend what we won last year. We all want to repeat at state again and show some of our new runners what it is like to be on a state championship team." MORE
11.26.09 star | megan ferowich tn
  bishop hendricken ri boys | squad
 "The Nike National race last summer was my first national race, and it is a race I will never forget. I knew the race would go out fast, and I knew I didn't want to lose...Winning the race has given me more confidence now, post-season, because I know that I can compete and win nationally." MORE "Brian Doyle’s father (my brother), Bobby Doyle, tragically passed away when Brian was a sophomore ...  there is no doubt that Bobby will be with us on Saturday.  He would tell the kids to get out, hang in and make it hurt.  He used to say, 'You can’t teach guts.'  He would love this team." MORE