By Angela Maure
Participating in a sport that requires a lot of endurance isn’t always an easy activity to be involved in, much like cross country, where commitment means the ability to push yourself like it’s second nature. Long Beach High School Cross Country Coach Milone, Coach Gralphs, and the rest of their team ought to know; especially the boy’s senior captain, Matt McGovern, who made it to this season’s State Qualifiers.
McGovern’s increasing energy over the years and passion for running has helped him to achieve his routine of running year-round during his high school career. The team’s spirit is also what really seems to help each teammate to push one another.
When interviewed, McGovern stated, “This year was the best year I’ve been on cross country – ever since freshmen year, so my senior year was the best for making it to the State Qualifiers.” When asked about his fellow teammates, Matt said, “The team is really young. Runners, Asa Hustern, Brian Thurston, are going to be really competitive next year. Finnian and Max Newman are also going to do really well next year.”
Matt has many supporters on his team. “It’s all Matt, really. He’s such a great guy,” says senior runner, Chris Lester. However, Matt says that the positive qualities in the team and in himself are a contribution to his perseverance in running, thus making it to where he stands right now.
Matt has been inspired by his coaches throughout his running career. “Coach Milone and Coach Gralphs told me what I could achieve and become, and I have a passion for the sport, so I decided to stick with it.”
The two coaches have their own unique methods of inspiring their athletes. Coach Milone knows when to push you and when not to push you. Coach Gralphs will encourage you by giving you tips for different workouts.
“If it was easy, everyone would do it, Milone always says,” quotes sophomore runner, Tara Hilzy.
The workouts that every runner does increases their stamina. Based on the effort each individual runner puts into it, these workouts help make them a better runner. The work and effort put into every runner’s improvement is a lot to deal with, especially for the young first-timers.
McGovern’s advice to younger students who may be considering joining cross country and/or track is, ” Just stick with it because the results will come – and the harder you push yourself, the better the results will be. Keep your confidence up and give it your all during workouts. Coach Milone will have faith in you. You can do great things. I guess you’ll just have to stick with the sport and deal with everything.”
Matt, thanks for the interview, and good luck in your running career. While cross country and track are difficult sports, the reward of your hard work is gratifying and worth the battle.