First Girls’ Cross Country trains students to be runners and runners to be stronger athletes. This formula not only prepares team members to face challenging competition but also to be confident in their athletic strength. The girls typically compete in a nine-meet schedule, which includes five large scrimmages and invitational meets against many of the traditional powerhouse teams in New England.
The girls’ squad trains both on campus and in the Simsbury area, using the many local parks for longer training runs. Westminster is blessed with hundreds of miles of trails within 15 minutes of campus, allowing runners to experience a variety of terrain and outdoor beauty during training runs.
During home competitions, the team races on a 5 km (3.1 mile) course on campus which incorporates a long section of spectator viewing as well as a challenging section in the woods of the school's 200-acre campus. Off the trails, the team makes extensive use of the school's weight room and swimming pool to complement the running program and to help prevent injuries.
The program is led by Coach Arianna Vailas, a New Hampshire native and graduate of Dartmouth College. At Dartmouth, Vailas captained the Women’s Cross Country and Track and Field teams and qualified for the 2011 NCAA Track and Field Regional Championships in the 1,500 meter event. Before joining the Westminster faculty, Vailas spent two years at Belmont School where she also coached the Cross Country and Track and Field teams.
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