Warrior Way 5K enhances cross country program [photo essay]

Kat Shambaugh, Features editor

Continuing its annual tradition, NC hosted the Warrior Way 5K on Saturday, September 19th. The event, which funds the NC Cross Country program, consists of a 5K and a 1K Fun Run. Both NC students and community members alike showed up early Saturday morning to test their running skills and support the Cross Country program.


#1Kat Shambaugh
Cross Country runners gather bright and early at the NC track for the 5K. Team members functioned as volunteers as well as racers for the day. Sophomore Malayna Rock reflects on her role: “Since I’m not running it this year, I like being out here and supporting everybody and cheering them on. It’s really fun to see how they get through it and help them continue.”

#2Kat Shambaugh
Getting an early start before the sun comes up, local community members pick up their bibs and bags for the 5K. For junior Heidi Barrios, the community involvement reigns as the best aspect: “My favorite part is seeing all of these different runners coming around. Not just the Cross Country team, but everyone. You can see our friends and family doing it with us, and I really like that.”


#3Kat Shambaugh
Sophomore Jordan Watt wears the team shirt that proclaims, “Train recklessly, race ruthlessly.” Runners who came fully dressed in NC spirit wear were eligible to win the “Most Spirited” award.


#4Kat Shambaugh
Wise runners know to stock up on potassium after a long race. Farmers Market Baskets and Atlanta Bread provided the 5K’s concessions.



#5Kat Shambaugh
As early as 6:30 AM, NC prepares to award the top runners for the day. Awards were given out for Fastest Faculty, Most Spirited, Fastest Overall, Fastest 40+, Fastest Junior Warrior, as well as the top 3 runners in age cohorts. Furthermore, participants in the 1K Fun Run were awarded with participation medals.


#6Kat Shambaugh
Lined up at the start, NC orange shines brightly. The NC Cross Country team, made up of approximately 80 runners, ran alongside the community members in the 5K and the 1K Fun Run.


#7Kat Shambaugh
Community members near the finish line, ready to celebrate their achievement. Junior Andrew Gasparini enjoyed running alongside the community: “I really like the community involvement and how everyone comes together to support our Cross Country team. Seeing everyone have a good time is amazing.”


#8Kat Shambaugh
NC Cross Country members cheer as they escort a young runner across the finish line. The 1K fun run, for children under 12, allows NC students to interact and train upcoming Warriors.


#9Kat Shambaugh
NC senior Alex Flack and sophomore Julianna Isbitts promote their club, Win One for the World, and raise money for underprivileged youth.


#10Kat Shambaugh
NC Cross Country members finish their post-race meeting with a cheer. Just minutes before, head coach Sarah Bowling reflected on the event’s success: “The Warrior Way was a great success! It offered the NC Cross Country team an opportunity to get to know the community and become united for the purpose of putting on a great race! Faculty and students from North Cobb came out to show support, which means so much for a sport that seems to remain in the background. We saw some great racing and more importantly, lots of smiles.”


#11Kat Shambaugh
NC teacher and coach Terry Gorsuch accepts the award for “Fastest Male Faculty Member.”





#12Kat Shambaugh
Former NC student and Cross Country runner Eric Nzuki wins “Fastest Male Alumna.” Nina Poguntke, junior and NC team member, enjoyed “seeing all of the alumnae come back and run with us. It’s so cool to see people who we ran with last year still supporting us.”