Injuries: Runners suffer from a range of problems


by Darian Edvalson and Sonia Sidhu

As the cross country season comes to a close, there has been large number of injuries this year: more than one-fourth of the 50 runners are out with leg wounds.

A poll of the team shows that out of the fourteen injured runners polled, nine athletes have shin splints. Sprained ankles are also a common injury among runners, afflicting three runners currently, and two other runners are also with other, less common injuries.

“In a sport like cross country, the most common injuries are overuse injuries,” said Athletic Trainer, Jaron Olson. “This is because running over and over is repetitive…. they do the same thing over and over.”

Shin splints and sprained ankles fall under the category of overuse injuries. The number of these injuries is increased by the training regimen’s extensive trail running, which according to Olson is a huge cause of ankle injuries.

These injuries have a major impact on the team, as an ankle sprain can keep a runner out for anywhere between a few days to a month of no physical activity.

Similarly, shin splints can take a runner out of practice from anywhere between a day to the entire season.

Catherine Stiles (12) has been injured on and off for almost the whole season. She said that if she begins to feel pain, she immediately stops running rather than risking permanent damage.

“I think [the cause of the injury is] the repetitive stress of running. It happens every season. If something starts hurting, be aware of it,” Catherine said.

Wearing the right shoes is also an aspect of concern. Chun Man Chow (11) believes that his injury was caused by the lack of ankle support his shoe offered.
Olson said that when shoes start to wear down, they cannot absorb impact as well and therefore can cause of many ankle injuries. He then added that cross country runners should to buy special trail running shoes, yet many, such as Chun Man, have overlooked this detail.

“I’d been wearing my old shoes for around eight months,” Chun Man said. He got new shoes that offered more ankle support and is now running again.
With 28 percent of runners spraining their ankles and hurting their shins, the cross country program is short on runners. However, injured athletes have undergone necessary treatment and recovered eventually.

“All our top runners are taking care of themselves. Some of the JV guys are getting injured because they aren’t used to [the repetitive motion of running],” Varsity captain Ragini Bhattacharya (10) said.

Despite the injuries, the team has continued to work hard and keep up their good spirits.

“Morale is not getting down at all,” said Paul Nangle, the head coach

The team still performed very well in the league with, girls placing 3rd twice in their WBAL meets and boys placing 4th and then 3rd. The girls are now 2nd in their league, and the boys at 3rd.