Girls cross country cheers on elementary runners


Girl’s on the Run participants teach the girls cross country team a cheer. Coach Richard Shomo brought the team to Maple Dale and Symmes Elementary to cheer the girls on. They ran their first practice 5k ever. Photo Courtesy of Richard Shomo

Ten runners from the high school team traveled to Maple Dale Elementary and Symmes Elementary to cheer on Girl’s on the Run participants. As part of their training, they ran a practice 5k for the first time.

For some runners, it reminded them of their younger selves.

“I wish we had a program like Girl’s on the Run when I was in elementary school; I definitely would have participated. Some of the girls remind me of myself a lot because they are energetic and running everywhere,” senior Abby Miller said.

Girl’s on the Run is a national organization that aims to get younger girls interested and engaged in physical activity, specifically running. The girls practice for several weeks before participating in a final “race,” a 5k.

Each girl is paired up with a running buddy: a coach, mom, sibling, or anyone they choose. During the final 5k, this buddy runs with them, motivating them and acting as encouragement.

Coach Richard Shomo brought volunteers from his high school team to cheer the girls on as they practiced before the race. They spread out along the “course,” handing out encouragement and cheers.

“The girls definitely enjoyed it a lot. I think it made it easier for them when they saw us; we were pretty distracting,” Miller said.

After finishing, Shomo provided each girl with a goodie bag for their accomplishment.

“Maybe in the future we can act as running buddies,” Miller said.

To learn more about Girl’s on the Run, click here.