The Coshocton County Beacon September 10, 2020 - Page 4

4 • The Beacon September 10, 2020 CHS runners join forces with River View cross country teams By Josie Sellers coshoctonbeacontoday.com Every now and then a little red and black is mixed in with River View’s cross country teams. Because Coshocton High School doesn’t have its own team, freshman Jaden Jones and juniors Kendall Jackson and Autumn Jones are working with River View. They train and race alongside River View’s teams but wear their school’s colors. “It was my idea to do this,” Jackson said. “I didn’t want to run alone, so I had them come with me.” Jaden Jones jumped at the chance so he could try to beat his sister and Jackson. However, Autumn Jones and Jackson hoped it would help get all of them ready for their swim season at CHS. “I’ve gone to open swims, and I feel like my legs are more powerful,” Autumn Jones said. “I’m excited about that.” Autumn Jones said so far the cross country experience has been pretty amazing. “I like that it’s got me on a routine and staying active,” she said. They all agreed the River View runners have been very welcoming. “We swim with them too,” Jackson said. “They are super accepting and really nice. We are not separate teams. I did this to swim better, but I’m loving cross country.” River View’s head coach Gwenna Neal has made an impact. “ I am honored that I can share what cross country has to offer with any young person. I am that confident in the fact that cross country changes lives. Gwenna ” Neal “We have a well-informed coach who knows a lot about the sport,” Jackson said. “She builds us up and helps us know what we are doing.” Autumn Jones said the sport is intense, but she is loving it. “It’s exciting,” she said. “I might be becoming a runner.” Neal believes there is so much to offer through the sport of cross country that goes beyond school colors or rivalry. “The discipline and character required to be successful is a catalyst to close relationships and mutual support,” Neal said. “Our team dynamic is very close-knit, so in 2016 when my first group of CHS came to our team, I had faith that the work and the running would forge the bonds necessary for success, and I was proven right. Although our CHS athletes compete in their own uniform, we all benefit from the camaraderie and the competition. I am honored that I can share what cross country has to offer with any young person. I am that confident in the fact that cross country changes lives.” Running Mates Autumn Jones and Kendall Jackson (in red tops) are pictured taking a warm up run with River View’s cross country team.