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Never too late to join the team

Contributor: The Nerd

In the week leading up to XC season, our social media accounts included several posts about why XC is so important. Here's our post about why it's never too late to join your XC team.

The XC season starts in 5 days.

You didn’t run in junior high.

You’re a senior and you’ve never gone out for a sport.

You’re not athletic.

The team is too good, too bad, too big, too little.

It doesn’t matter.

It’s never too late to join your high school XC team.

A thread:


Every high school XC team features a wide variety of runners. Fast and slow. Devoted and casual. Outgoing and quiet.

The strength of an XC team is its diversity.

Give us your effort and a good attitude, we’ll give you a family.

The one thing you don’t need: experience.


Isabella Bricker of Gretna never competed in junior high or high school athletics. During the COVID pandemic, she began running with her mom. She joined the track team as a junior and earned State XC and track medals as a senior. She’ll join the South Dakota squad this fall.


Grant West played football at Creighton Prep as a freshman and sophomore. He enjoyed track so he joined the XC team as a junior. In two years, he never ran varsity XC race. He did, however, win two State 4x800 titles and a bronze in the 1600. He competes at Mt. St. Mary.


Before June 2021, Keeli Green had never run more than two miles. A softball player in the fall and a sprinter/jumper in the spring, she joined the XC team her junior year. Four months after becoming a distance runner, she won the 2021 Class C XC gold medal.


Wes Ferguson of Fremont played golf for two years before joining the track team as a junior. He finished 10th at State XC as a senior. He won three individual State titles on the track, and won the D2 indoor and outdoor 800 national titles this spring. He still plays golf. (Photo credit: Troy Bracker)


There’s a reason that Mount Michael requires freshman to participate in a fall sport. It provides a connection outside the classroom. Develops school spirit. Creates friendships. Builds a sense of pride. Instills discipline and confidence.


So you’ve never run before? Big deal. This season most XC athletes will run farther or faster than they’ve ever run before. You can’t run a 5k today? No problem. Give your coach two months of effort. You’ll be amazed at what you achieve.

Stop limiting yourself. Stop telling yourself that you’re not an athlete. Stop questioning whether you’re tough enough.

Commit to one season of XC.

Commit to three months of sweat, laughter, courage and friendship.

It will change your life.


Originally written for and posted at by Jay Slagle. Did you love reading about Nebraska high school running? Visit for rankings, results, photos, long-form articles, frequent updates on our blog page, and a bunch of other cool stuff that only running nerds would think to do. If you want to see meet photos or just need to kill a few hours on social media, follow @PrepRunningNerd on Twitter and Instagram, or on Facebook at

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