by BRIANNA KATSUDA
The cross country team began their season with a great start by sweeping District and traveling to Oregon for the Three Course Challenge.
A group of sixteen athletes from the team traveled to Oregon from September 20-24th. They visited the Nike campus, saw animals at the Oregon Zoo, went to the Saturday flea market, ate at Voodoo Donuts, and explored Powell’s Book Store. After visiting the many beautiful sights of Oregon, they raced at Seaside High School’s, “Three Course Challenge” race where they split into three different groups: easy, medium, and hard. This adventurous course had a mud pit that was the size of a small lake, a forest where the athletes had to jump over logs, and a long dirt path that overlooks a mountainside. The athletes performed well, with Mario Amaro earning 8th place in the moderate race and Cole Sawires Yager winning 9th place in the hard race.
Earlier in the season the team earned the title of District Champions by sweeping all five categories of the race on September 6th at Knabe Park. The team’s victory was helped by Cole Sawires Yager, Michael Giordano, Isha Pema, and Jaide Lin who won first place at each of their races. In addition, the team thrived at the Rosemead race on September 8th, where over one hundred athletes ran their fastest times this season. Cole Sawires Yager ran a time of 15:28, more than a minute faster than any other runner in the sophomore boys race. He moved up to fifth place in the school’s cross country Hall of Fame. The boys and girls varsity teams have been working hard to reach their goal of going to CIF State this year. One of the captains, Vraj Patel, wants the athletes to use each other as motivation to bypass their limits during practices and races.
“My goal by the end of the season is to PR [personal record] and make it to state for CIF. I also want to continue to bond with the rest of the team by running together and pushing each other to work harder,” Patel said.
On September 29th, the team had their first Suburban League Cluster race at Knabe Park. There are three cluster races that determine the League champions, with the first and second race worth 25% of the score each, and the last cluster race worth 50% of the total score. Despite the delays and sunny conditions, the team came together and pushed through. The boys junior varsity team got second place, led by Chris Amaro who secured 8th place in the race. The girls junior varsity team won third place, with junior, Claire Lee who won first place in the race. The boys varsity team earned first place as Cole Sawires Yager leading the pack near the front, winning second place. The girls varsity team finished in third place with Jaide Lin winning 6th place overall.