Last year, the cross country team at West Side Middle School had 17 students. This year, with the consolidation of three Groton middle schools into two, it has 44.
Saturday morning, more than 20 cross country team members, their siblings, their parents and even a dog gathered at Bluff Point to run together.
“When the schools merged, that was a big crisis for a lot of the kids,” said Annie vanDyke, whose daughter, Caroline, 13, is on the team.
But she said the combination of students has enriched the school and the team.
“The mix has been phenomenal,” she said.
The students planned to run 3.5 to 4 miles.