The Student News Site of Severna Park High School

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The Student News Site of Severna Park High School

The Talon

The Student News Site of Severna Park High School

The Talon

Recent Sports Scores

The Boys Cross Country Team

An Inside Look Into The Team
Joshua Alcombright
Picture from the PTXC meet on 9/9 up in PA. This is the varsity cross country team photo. FROM LEFT TO RIGHT- Stephen Nunn 2025, Dylan Newhard 2025, Ty Miller 2026, Ryan Crowley 2024, Leo Havens 2025, Caden Lazzor 2025, Cooper Alahverdian 2025, Taylor Jarvis 2024. They placed 6th in this meet. Not our normal placement, as you may know. Jarvis was the star of this meet, coming in first with a time of 17:04. “I don’t really do it for myself, I do it for everyone else,” Jarvis said.

To learn more about the Severna Park boys Cross Country team, two varsity athletes were interviewed, Ryan Crowley and Taylor Jarvis. Along with the head coach, Josh Alcombright, which gave more insight into how boys cross country is orchestrated..

Ryan Crowley is the captain of the SPXC boys team. He is a varsity runner, and has been a member of Severna Park’s Cross Country team since his freshman year.

Q- Do you anticipate winning states?

A- “I think we have a chance, we all obviously have to work very hard throughout the rest of the season to accomplish that goal. I think by the end of the season it is possible if we all run our best race and we train this whole season. I think it’s a doable achievement.”

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Q- What motivates you to run and come back every year?

A- “I think it’s the fact of the whole team aspect, the team, it’s a great group of people everybody’s dedicated to the sport and we all enjoy getting out there every day, working hard, and also continuing the legacy of how successful our team has been. Coming back for another state championship is the goal.”

Q- Why did you decide to start running?

A- “I decided to start running because honestly I really didn’t do anything else and my mom was like you have to do a sport or a club so I joined cross country and I ended up really liking it because of the group of people and just stuck with it through the years.”

Q- During races, does the clock create stress/pressure, stress of being on varsity?

A- “Yeah there’s definitely a bit of pressure going into it because you have an expectation to kind of perform at a certain level. I think the added varsity really puts pressure on you. You kinda gotta go into it not thinking about the race as well as not worrying about the time more or less just running your best race and running as fast as you can without worrying about the time. More or less placement and where you are on the team”

Q- How far have you come/how much have you grown as a runner since your first year?

A- “Since my first year I’ve grown a lot as a runner; I went from being pretty slow, like I could barely run three miles straight without stopping, to now we run 6-7 days a week pretty consistently so i’ve definitely grown a lot my time has dropped significantly from freshman year, definitely running four years in a row makes a difference in time and stuff.”

Q- Has XC taught you anything? If so, what has it taught you?

A- “It has taught me to be a team player and it’s not just about yourself it’s the whole team. This whole sport would not be possible if you didn’t have the team with you, as our coach always says: “it’s We>Me”, like, it’s not an individual sport without the team no one would be where we are, you have to work together as a group to accomplish a goal, can’t do anything by yourself.”


The second member of the team that was interviewed is Taylor Jarvis, a senior who has been on the team for 2 years, and now runs for the varsity team. 

Q- Do you anticipate winning states?

A- “I think we have a chance if we all work hard and put our minds to it.”

Q- What motivates you to run/come back every year?

A- “Just being part of the team is the biggest aspect for me just because i don’t really do it for myself i do it for everyone else.”

Q- Why did you decide to start running?

A- “I started running indoor track because of John Reed. He invited me so I started running. I figured it’d be kinda fun and then I kinda stuck with it after that.”

Q- During races, does the clock create stress/ pressure, stress of being on varsity?

A- “Yeah, for sure I’d say being on varsity especially this year where I’m part of the top leaders with Caden and Leo. It’s kind of tough having a lot of that pressure and then the clock I mean I don’t think about my time really I think about giving it full effort in the races and if i give it full effort then the times will come”

Q- How far have you come/ how much have you grown as a runner since your first year?

A- “ Since my first year i’d say i’ve grown quite a bit just from all the coaching and also just all the time i’ve been putting into it”

Q- Has XC taught you anything? If so, what is it?

A- “Id say its to biggest thing id say is to enjoy it like i used to stress over races and stuff but i feel like what’s the point in that why not just enjoy it because you are only in high school cross country once so why not have a good time racing and stuff”

Q- What do you think of the head coach? Has he made a significant impact on your running career?

A- “Coach A is awesome. I would definitely not be the runner I am today without him. Id say yeah he motivates me he pushes me and he pushes all of us and keeps us all together as a team i mean most coaches for other teams don’t really emphasize like the team aspect but our coach seems to know that We> me, that’s our motto”


Finally, the head coach was interviewed… Josh Alcombright, or  Coach A. Coach A has been coaching the SPXC Boys team for 17 years. 

Q- Why did you want to become a coach?

A-I wanted to become a coach because I not only love the sport, but I wanted to bring that passion and competitive fire to kids that are just getting into the sport. Running has helped me so much in my life and has made me a lot of who I am today. Learning life lessons through this sport and building relationships is what has driven me for the last 24 years. I am also super competitive, and I like trying to build winning teams each year from whatever comes our way.”

Q- Can you describe what a typical practice looks like for the team?

A- “It all really depends on the day, but we will always gather at the start of practice and talk about different things (strategy, what we need to work on, motivational stuff, the workout, whatever we need to) and then the kids will warm up with drills and maybe some strengthening exercises. They will then do whatever the assigned run or workout is for the day, and we as coaches will be running or biking right along with them. After the workout they cool down, do some core work, stretch and call it a day.”

Q- What are your core values as a coach?

A- “Great question. Without clear and concise direction athletes aren’t going to get the full benefit of this amazing sport and program we have here. To me, what I value most as a coach is the idea of doing something that is bigger than just yourself. Building a group of 50-100 individual, distinctly unique athletes into a team that is working towards a common goal is what we focus on every year. We value athletes who are willing to work hard, show up every day and buy into how we operate as a program, on and off the course. And we ask and expect them to do this with consistency, not just when it is convenient or easy to do so.”

Q- Do you anticipate the boys team winning states this year?

A- “Every year our expectation is the contend for a county and state title and this year is no different. The boys are seeking their 6th straight state title and the programs 9th in the last 11 years, which is no easy feat. I think we have the talent to be able to win the championship this year and I think the boys have the desire to do so.”

Q- What have you or your athletes gained from practicing together?

A- “Being together everyday training and doing the same thing as the guy next to you builds trust and this is something you need when in the heat of competition. Training together also builds that competitive fire that helps us continuously grow and improve as the season progresses. In the sport of running, runs and workout could easily be done outside of practice, but practicing together each and every day as a whole program enables the coaches to get a better feel for how the team is doing and what things we need to work on. Seeing the kids with my own eyes in the middle of a workout really helps guide me as the workout progresses and allows me to make adjustments on the fly. I can’t do that without being there and looking into their eyes while they are working out. That is priceless for me.”

At the end of the interview, Coach A added in an important side note,

 “None of the success this program has had in my 17 years with the school would be possible without the support of my family and coaches!”

I hope this article helped to give you more insight into how the SPXC buys team is run along with our important values and team structure. 

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