Cross Country Teammates Battle it Out for First

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‘Well, you shave your legs!’ senior Charlie Krassnoff shouts ahead to senior Andrew Smock during cross country practice.  These two Ladue cross country runners dominated in the St. Vincent met this past Thursday, Sep. 9 placing both first and second.  Smock, a few feet ahead, turns his head to retaliate with ‘Charlie who?’ as a friendly joust because Smock had beaten Krasnoff by eleven seconds that past Thursday at the meet.

Smock and Krasnoff have both been running for years and prevail in the 5K race.  Both have been leaps and bounds ahead of their fellow runners, but feel that practice and their attitudes towards the grind should not falter due to their successes.

However, there are some perks at practice after coming off of a big win.  Their coach, Richard Witt, announces results, places and standings to the whole team and they applaud for their friends.

“Beating Charlie isn’t really ever my goal,” Smock said. “I was hoping to win this meet, which means I would have to beat Charlie, but it wasn’t distinctly what I was trying to accomplish.  In a race, Charlie is just as much of a competitor as he is a teammate.”

“The next practice felt like every other practice. It wasn’t the biggest meet, it was a small meet, so we need to get back to work.””

— Charlie Krasnoff

The mindset of these runners to continue to work day in and day out is all in hopes to ‘be a contender, not a pretender.’  Despite friendly banter, both recognize the work and effort that the other puts in.

“He’s just a really good runner,” Krasnoff said.  “I was able to relax at the end of the race because I knew no one was going to catch Andrew, and that no one was going to catch me.”