Cross Country Runs Into Season
RANDY YANG, DANIELA REINOSO Staff Writers
The Cross Country team’s first league race of the season was on Wednesday Sept. 25 at Legg Lake in South El Monte. Cross Country has been training since summer in hopes of continuing their winning streak as Almont League champions for the third year in a row.
This first race is Cross Country’s opportunity to show the Almont League the end product of all of their hard work throughout the long summer and preseason. The more experienced members of the team have been helping the new members while also working on improving their own times.
“I am excited for this race because we’ve all worked so hard throughout the hot summer and I can’t wait to see what I am capable of now compared to last year,” junior Leslie Martinez said.
Cross Country already had two preseason races this year: Cool Breeze and the race at Laguna Hills. Many Cross Country members like Martinez hope to improve their times and work their way up the ranks, but early races can be tough to get used to.
“The race is… mind challenging,” junior Ramses Mota said. “It [separates] the strong from the weak.”
The distance for most Cross Country events is usually 5 kilometers or 3.1 miles. The fastest time for the Lady Moors through the first two preseason games belonged to senior Paloma Sanchez who held a time of 19:26, which sets the bar quite high for incoming members and JV runners on the girls team. The best time for boys preseason was 17:25 by Sebastian Gamez. With impressive preseason times, the Moors have high hopes for the season.
“From what I’ve seen and been told, it looks like we are really prepared, we might be poised for a CIF run this season and hopefully a CIF championship,” senior Andy Flores said.
Many newcomers have joined this year creating a larger, more diverse and talented team. Like all who get into Cross Country for the first time, they had a bit of a tough start at first. “If you have ever played a sport that requires running or any kind of exercise, you still might struggle with the adjustment period, but in the end as long as you stay focused and calm you should be able to have lots of fun,” newcomer Flores said.
Other members of the team agreed that it is not all just hard work.
“I think Cross Country is really fun, even though it could be hard, your teammates are really supportive and also the coach,” new team member Masato Shigeta said. “I’m really nervous… however, I would like to fight for my team.”
Cross Country’s next race is this Saturday and the location is still to be determined.