Cross Country Advocates for Breast Cancer Awareness


Lillian Zuelke, Reporter

Spring Lake’s cross-country team started fundraising and raising awareness for breast cancer last year. This idea came from the cross-country coach himself — Aaron Andres. He wanted to be more involved in breast cancer awareness month and used his team to do so. The first year the team participated, they sold t-shirts. According to those who sold the shirts last year, they raised a considerable amount of money. Many students made extra donations to support the cause by paying more than the cost of the shirt. Kerry O’Donnell, a mother of a cross-country student, works for the National Cancer Society and helped with the donations. Because of the team’s previous success, they chose to continue their fundraising this year too, only by selling bracelets for $1. 

The team raised $203 to donate to the National Cancer Society throughout breast cancer awareness month. They garnered attention from the school by having students wear pink on October 19th. According to the team, they were even more successful this year than they were the previous year. They are planning on continuing to fundraise for breast cancer awareness and it is expected that the fundraiser will occur annually. 

Along with their fundraising efforts, the cross-country team had their senior meet to focus on. The meet occurred on October 22nd as their first and final home meet. It was an invitational meet against 14 other teams. The varsity team competes against nine other schools while the junior varsity team competes against three other teams. The team with the lowest points is the team that wins. The varsity girls’ team won with 37 points. The varsity boys’ team came in fourth with 109 points. Junior varsity girls won with 20 points and junior varsity boys won with 22 points. Coach Andres stated, “I was excited about how we finished our season out with three wins.” Overall, the cross-country team did quite well. When it came to individuals, however, there were some issues. Ani Hough, a junior varsity runner, said, “It was really hot so I threw up four times.” The sudden weather change made it difficult for some runners to acclimate properly during their races, Ani unfortunately being one of them. Another issue that occurred was a varsity runner—Tanner Guczwa—losing his shoe during his race. Melanie Buys, a junior varsity runner, recalled, “Tanner lost his shoe so he didn’t finish.” She went on to sarcastically remark, “It was really a highlight for us.” Buys enthusiastically mentioned that there was a taco bar after the race which made up for the troubles during the meet. 

Although there were some hardships during cross-country’s senior meet, they managed to persevere and come together to score excellently. Coach Andres was proud of his team for both running impressively and contributing to the awareness project and fundraiser for combating breast cancer.