Boys Cross Country opens season with three straight wins


Clinton Clancy

Cross Country team poses as a group after competing in the Pole Green Invitational. From left to right: Andrew Hathaway (11), Ethan Thorne (9), Garret Wilcox (11), Clinton Clancy (12), Caleb Wilcox (11), Andrew Bennett (12), Ben Schneider (12), Josh Taylor (9)

While football gets most of the attention when it comes to fall sports, Clover Hill’s cross country team has been dominant in each meet that they have run in so far this season.

The Cavaliers have competed in the Collegiate, Pole Green, RVA Relays and Dominion District meets.

Senior runner Clinton Clancy has been a huge contributor to the team’s early success. “Results have looked great, better than we expected,” Clancy said. “We have won every meet we have run in, and the times have been great,” Clancy continued. 

Because of the early results, senior Andrew Bennett claims that this year is different. 

“We have one of the best teams in school history… [taking] down the state champions in our second meet, and [sweeping] the race with a perfect one to five score,” Bennett said. 

Clover Hill has had a fast start, literally! In regards to finishing, Clancy mentioned that the top five runners on the team each have the caliber of breaking the 17-minute barrier in the 5k race. Beyond the top runners, Clancy also said that the entire top seven could finish under 18 minutes as well. 

To put this in perspective, each of the top seven runners would run at a sub-six minute mile pace for a duration of just over three miles.

Bennett, being one of the strongest runners on the club, added to Clancy’s remarks. 

“We have never had a team this strong in years, and we mean to prove it come championship season,” Bennett said. 

However, all the success in the meets comes from the work done behind the scenes during practice and in the racers’ free time. 

In order to stay in peak physical shape, Clancy is constantly improving and preparing for the hard work ahead. 

“I run 55-plus miles a week, hit the gym every morning and avoid all fried, greasy, or sugary foods,” Clancy said. “[I] pretty much [just stick with] oatmeal, eggs, turkey, fruit, white meat, rice and a lot of vegetables”. 

Along with his strict diet, Clancy mentally prepares for each meet for multiple days and performs a couple of specific outside training drills to adjust and focus.

Bennett is also very similar in his running routine, running on average between 60 and 80 miles per week and routinely working out at the gym. 

This team has a lot to prove and has done nothing but perform at the highest level so far this season. The runners hope to continue their early success tomorrow, as they compete in one of the biggest meets in the state at the Patrick Henry Invitational in Ashland against 31 other teams.

This will be a huge jump from the previous meets that the team has attended, as general cross country meets consist of 10 to 30 teams, according to Bennett. 

In order to win the meet, Clancy, Bennett and the rest of the cross country team will need to show out and perform at an unbelievable level; however, based on the preparation put into every race and the focus and dedication that each runner displays, the team can absolutely finish with flying colors.