Behind the Scenes: Cross Country Managers


Danielle Newhouse

Alyssa Repke and Teagan Zeh pose for a picture. “I feel like [people] would be a lot more stressed out if we weren’t there.” Repke said. They enjoyed managing the cross country team this year.

Cross Country season just ended and when taking a look back on the season there are two girls you might not ever hear about, who are an important part of the team. Sophomores Teagan Zeh and Alyssa Repke are managers for the Cross Country team. While they might not be adding any scores to the team, they do help the practices and meets run smoother.

 “[I chose to be a manager] because I wanted to help sports.” Zeh said. “And Coach Olszowka asked me personally to be the manager. So, that made me feel good.”

The managers’ role is to help keep track of runners times and help coaches.

“We time people. Normally, we stand at the one mile marker and time Washington kids as they cross, or we count how many people are in front of the Washington kids to know what place they’re in.” Repke said. “And then at Washington’s meet, we organized awards and stuff.” 

Having the managers on the team lessens the load of the coaches, and helps to take some of the busywork of coaches that way they can focus on their job.

“[The coaches would] be running around trying to do stuff and also trying to cheer the kids on, so I think it’s important that they can just focus on encouraging them and coaching them.” Repke said. 

Repke and Zeh agree that helping out the coaches is a rewarding part of the job.

“[It’s] the feeling that you’re helping out the coaches, so they’re not stressed. Feeling useful.” Repke said. 

In addition to helping out the coaches, the managers like meeting new people and interacting with the team. 

“[My favorite part is] hanging out with people because I did it with my friends so we could do stuff together, and it’s a way to meet new people.” Zeh said. 

While there are many upsides to being the managers, there are some downsides too. Even though they aren’t runners, they sometimes end up having to run a lot.

“We have to run probably the same amount as what the racers do sometimes.” Zeh said. “Forest Park was a big one because you couldn’t hear the start because it was so far away. So we had to run half of a mile to reach them. And then we had to run back to the one mile.”

While it’s great to have two managers to loosen the load, sometimes one of them can’t make it to a meet which leaves only one manager. 

“Sometimes, if only one of us can go to a meet, and if you’re assigned multiple jobs, it’s kind of hard to do that simultaneously.” Repke said. 

The work that the managers do is not unnoticed by the runners.

“They take time out of their day to support us.” junior Zoey Ziegler said. “Even if they don’t train with us they’re still part of the team.

Repke and Zeh enjoy being managers and would recommend it to anyone, for any sport.

“It’s fun. You might think it’s boring because you have more downtime.” Zeh said. “But it’s a nice way to hang out with people, get out of school, and it’s a way to meet new people.”