Web helps cross country make ‘net gains

Internet sites are helping to spur growth in school running teams–and helping teams scout opponents, reports the Baltimore Sun. Pikesville’s Josh Wesalo is always looking for anything that could make him a better runner. He diligently keeps a log of his runs and training, helps his coach by mapping out practice routes for the Panthers, and even scouts possible opponents. In years past, doing all of that would have consumed a lot of time for the senior. But Wesalo now can do it with a few clicks of his mouse. Almost any piece of information about runners, teams, and performances can be found on web sites. Coaches and runners are using it in an effort to gain an advantage. It is no longer just coaches who gather information on opponents. It isn’t uncommon to hear runners reciting details about coming opponent’s times, the weather at various races, and even types of practices opposing teams run. "The internet has impacted [cross country] the way it has impacted all aspects of daily life," South River coach Patrick Kiley said. "Teenagers today are a computer-savvy generation. Information is passed so quickly from one kid to another that it’s half informational and half entertainment."

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