Wakefield’s cross-country team has their eyes set on success


Photo Courtesy of Wendy Taylor Book

Women’s’ cross country poses for a photo before their match against Rolesville and Wake Forest. They recently went to the Hough Invitational at Davidson College.

Seth Steiner and Nic Cazin

Wakefield High School’s cross-country team has been putting in a lot of hard work this season, and anyone on the team can attest to this. In his fourth year on the team, Coach Joe Turchetti has taken the team to the next level. 

Junior Ava Viele has been on the cross-country team for all three years of her high school career. She’s seen the team take big strides thanks to the coach.  

“[Coach Turchetti has] really upped the program and he’s made it a lot more difficult,” Viele said. “We had a cross country camp this summer that we went to [and we’re] doing a lot harder workouts. [The] morale of the team has just been lifted.”

Similar to Viele, Turchetti has seen this same progress among the runners.

“They’ve grown in their willingness to put in a lot of hard work and challenge themselves to become excellent,” Turchetti said. 

The student-athletes on the cross-country team don’t just get some of their anxiety from their team commitments, they’re also forced to manage outside stress factors such as school work. Jackson Stroupe, a sophomore, experiences the hardships of being on the team firsthand. 

“Just like every other student-athlete I have to keep a balance between school, sports and everything else,” Stroupe said. “It’s difficult and it tests how much you can handle being really occupied, but that’s a good thing.”

Even with the stress from school, the team has managed to remain victorious, achieving a spot on the podium for three out of their last four meets. One thing that’s been helping the cross-country team succeed is their friendship.

They’ve grown in their willingness to put in a lot of hard work and challenge themselves to become excellent.”

— Turchetti

“I’d say we’re all super close. It’s a select group that does cross country, so we’ve all been with each other [for a while],” Viele said. “Usually in the spring there’s track so you’re with them then too.” 

Going forward, the team has one thing on their minds: the state tournament. 

Emma Grace Fischer, a senior, has been on the team for four years. For her senior year, she shares a common goal with her team.

“As a team, we really want to win the conference and make it to states,” Fischer said. “We usually make it to regionals but we’ve never really made it to states, at least [not] since I’ve been here.”

Moving forward in the season, the team is well aware that success cannot be achieved without keeping up their hard work.

“I would say our plan for the rest of the season is to keep a high intensity the whole time and stick to our team goals,” Stroupe said.

No matter what happens, Turchetti acknowledges how much hard work his team has put in this season.

“I’m proud of them when I see them work so hard and have great results,” Turchetti said.