The cross country team has started its year strong at its first three invitationals. Both the boys’ and girls’ teams started off their seasons at the Seaside Invitational on Aug. 31 at the Ventura County Fairgrounds.
“It was great to see how our summer training went (at Seaside) and all of the Invitationals were a success,” Andrew Shibuya ’19 said.
The Wolverines experienced success at Woodbridge Invitational which was held at Silverlake’s Sports Park on Sept. 15.
At the invitational, multiple runners beat their personal records, and Shibuya tied the school record for a three mile race with a time of 14.59.1.
“I didn’t look at it any differently than another race,” Shibuya said. “I think it was important for me to execute well on the day, I knew that I had trained well all summer.”
Shibuya and Aaron de Tolo ’11 are now the joint record holders for the three mile race.
The Wayne Walker Invitational on Sept. 22 at Craig Regional Park was the team’s last invitational.
“Woodbridge, and Wayne Walker went fantastically for both the boys and girls.” Alexandra Ankai ’19 said.
With the invitational portion of the season behind them, the squad is now focusing on their league meets.
The team’s first Mission League meet was Sept. 26 at Crescenta Valley. While invitationals are important, they have no effect on the team in the postseason.
“At league meets, we come in with very specific goals that are necessary to achieve, and we don’t do that as much or at all for invitationals,” Shibuya said.
Both the girls’ and boy’s teams have high expectations this season. “The girls are dropping time rapidly, so I’m anticipating a great performance for our first league meet.” Ankai said.
The main goal for the team is to excel in the playoffs and make a run towards state, Shibuya said.
“We want to run well and compete against the rest of the league, but there’s definitely no expectation to completely dominate,” Shibuya said. “The focus is to make it successfully into the postseason and execute from there.”
In preparation for league, the team has increased its workload in practice. “Practices have definitely gotten harder, volume wise, so a lot of us are trying really hard to bump up our weekly mileage,” Ankai said.
Because of a lack of play after their first league meet, the team has extra time to train for their second league meet Oct. 16.
Shortly after the second league meet, the runners will participate in their final invitational, the Mount SAC Invitational on Oct. 19. Their final regular season race, the Mission League Finals, will be Oct. 31.
“Overall, I think we have an extremely good chance of bringing home a Mission League championship by the end of the season,” Ankai said. “The boys will be looking out for Loyola, while the girls will mainly be aiming to beat Immaculate heart, Flintridge Sacred Heart, and Notre Dame.”
The Mission League Finals will be the team’s final regular season race Oct. 31. If the runners meet their expectations, shortly after the Mission League Finals, the team will compete in the CIF Prelims.