For cross-country teams, fans have long been family members

I read the article regarding Ava Whitney, the Brattleboro Union High School runner who was asking for fans to show up and cheer them on, with interest. For cross-country teams, it has long been a reality that the fans will all be family members.

In reading her comments, my concern is that she seems to believe that situation will change at college. The reality is that it gets worse, with less support than in high school.

Here's why. As an example, I will use one college - Bates College - that she said has interest in.

When you look at their roster, they have runners from California (five), Texas (two), North Carolina, Minnesota, Maryland, Virginia, Alabama, Montana, and Washington, D.C.

The parents of those runners will not be traveling to the meets weekly, thus eliminating even the family support.

My suggestion would be for her to contact the cross-country team captains of the colleges she is interested in to receive a clear perspective regarding this, so that she doesn't get negatively caught by surprise. Better to know ahead than to arrive on campus with elevated expectations that cannot be met.

And the very best to her, wherever she attends college.

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