the westminster news
Published by the students of Westminster School
By Sunshine Li ’26
As the end of autumn approaches, colorful leaves will turn into capes of snow, and our fall sports teams will wrap up their seasons with the end of the first trimester of the 2023-2024 school year on Williams Hill. I was lucky to be a part of Girls Cross Country, and I would like to share some of our favorite moments from the season, with reflections from our coaches, captains, Sixth Formers, and members.
First, I asked our coaches, Ms. Dale and Mr. Na, to reflect upon their favorite moments of this season. Ms. Dale said that she particularly enjoyed our community service day with Girls On the Run, where the team had the opportunity to interact with younger girls by joining one of their practice sessions. She loved the fantastic energy and spoke about how it was inspiring for both groups––the young girls could look up to us and see what they can accomplish, while the XC team could see how far we have come. Ms. Dale also talked about how she felt to have fulfilled her goal to train us well enough so that we were confident enough to teach others in the sport, which mirrored the success of the XC program as a whole. Mr. Na’s favorite part of the season was seeing the Girls XC team improve in running the 5k each meet, both in times and confidence. He was proud to see our confidence in racing meets grow substantially throughout the season, commenting how the meets were fun and fulfilling. Thank you to both coaches for believing in us from the start and supporting the team through hard practices and wonderful accomplishments!
Throughout the season, we have made unforgettable memories, and several teammates shared their favorites. Sixth Formers and captains gave some great advice and bittersweet parting messages. Below are the heartwarming messages by members of the Girls XC team.
Madison Khuu ’24, captain, said that her favorite moments were cheering on everyone at meets and Senior Day at Hotchkiss. Hayden Schnieder ’25, captain, said that her favorite moment was seeing everyone smile at practice, the Martlet Mush, and working together to make that happen. Carolyn Cheng ’24 said that her favorite moment was also Senior Day Founders at Hotchkiss, and she enjoyed the view of the pretty lake; her thoughts were mirrored by Grace Tyler ’24. SG Stevenson ’25 loved the Martlet Mush, too, but also cheering on our teammates and the Boys XC team as they finished their races. Her piece of advice is “Mind over matter! If you think about how much running sucks, you can push one level further!” Elise Park ’25 said that one of their favorite memories was eating popsicles in the squash courts, while AJ Jimenez ’25 said hers was blasting music on the bus ride back from Founders at Hotchkiss while eating McDonald’s. Grace Li ’26 loved the joint meditation and yoga session with the Boys XC team, which we had in the squash courts when it was raining outside. Fiona Lawson ’26 said that she loved watching teammates and herself improve during practices and meets.
Last but not least, we have advice from our Sixth Formers.
Run your own race – you are all stronger than you think, and I know you will all do great next year! (Madison)
Smile!!! One team one heartbeat: run with each other and push each other (Grace)
Keep Distance weird! Make it a point to encourage at least one competitor while running your race. Smile on those hills – it helps :) Treasure your time with this team and treat every race and practice like it's your last. Give 100% of your 50% (credits to Ms. Vailas.) Use the bathroom before you race!!! (Carolyn)
While it is sad that our Sixth Formers will not be returning for the next season of Girls Cross Country, we are more than glad to have experienced such an incredible season thanks to their guidance and support. Looking ahead, we are excited to welcome new members to the team next year, and I am happy to say that my teammates and I have thoroughly enjoyed this part of our fall!
See more photos here.