When an occasional fan of athletics thinks about the great sport of cross country, they may conger up thoughts of those who possess tremendous stamina.
While physical endurance is a very important part of being a distance runner, many other components are vital if one is to reach their full potential on the course. These attributes include a proper strategy as well as mental toughness.
Members of the West Milford High School boys cross country program are reaching their full potential this season, with the help of the coaching staff and the captains on the roster: J.D Jones, Wyatt Space and Colin Menier. Jones is a senior, Space is a junior and Menier is a member of the sophomore class at West Milford.
“They are dedicated athletes who are hard workers and demonstrate all the qualities you want in a leader,’’ West Milford head coach Chris Jones said.
Each of the above mentioned student athletes have demonstrated their skill and ability this year.
“Colin has been the first West Milford runner to cross any finish line this year,’’ Jones said. “Colin placed seventh overall in the Conference championship meet. J.D. has had numerous top 25 finishes in our Invitationals and has been a solid point contributor for the team. Wyatt has missed some time this year and is working his way back to the runner that earned points for us at the beginning of the year.’’
Each captain has noticeably helped lead the way for the Highlanders this fall.
“All of them have become more vocal leaders who are not afraid to take on added responsibilities to further the quality of the team,’’ Jones said.
Jones, Space and Menier are also leaders where it counts the most-in the classroom.
“All three captains have a grade point average of 4.0 or higher,’’ Jones said. “Each of the captains demonstrate their leadership by their hard work in practice. Also, they are more than willing to take the younger runners aside and help them.’’
Many student athletes have contributed to the betterment of the Highlander team in 2021.
“Johnathon Basil, Francesco Petrosillo, Michael Harrison and Mattias Eriksson are all seniors who have earned points for the team,’’ Jones said.
The Highlanders are scheduled to participate in the Doc Braver Invitational at Darlington Park. On Nov. 6 they are slated to take part in a NJSIAA Sectional Meet at Garret Mountain.