The cross country team is currently preparing for their first meet, the Seaside Invitational on Aug. 31.
The team has been working hard since the beginning of July, practicing four times a week and lifting twice a week. Along with all the hard work they have put in on campus, the team recently returned from their annual five day retreat in Big Bear.
On the trip,the team went through rigorous training; however, it was also a great bonding experience that allowed the team to come together, Natalia Quintero ’21 said.
“I think that Big Bear got everyone into better shape for our first league meet,” Quintero said.
Although the team trained hard in Big Bear, they also spent their free time bonding and participating in various activities such as hiking and kayaking, Quintero said.
“We had loads of different workouts, and the high altitude makes them even harder, but we also had lots of free time to bond and get closer as a team,” Avery Keare ’19 said.
The team shares the overall goal of qualifying for state after both the boys and the girls teams were stopped short of that last year at the CIF-SS Division 4 Finals.
After all the hard work they put in over the summer, the team is eager to get the season started at the Seaside Invitational, Keare said.
“The Seaside Invitational is a good starting meet for the the team to get the season started on the right foot, and it will be great practice for our less experienced runners,” girls’ captain Alexandra Ankai ’19 said.
Along with the experience Seaside should offer, Keare said the team has a good chance to be successful at Seaside.
“We’re really excited,” Keare said. “There’s a really good chance that both the boys and girls do will do really well at the meet. That being said, races can be really nerve-wracking and stressful but hopefully we can overcome that as a team.”
Both the boys and girls teams have high hopes for Seaside race, but they have even higher expectations for the season, Ankai said. Hopefully, their year will culminate at the California State Finals Nov. 24.
“I think we will do a lot better this year, not only because of our determination to get the streak [of making it to state] back, but also because we have a lot of great newbies that can help team immensely,” Ankai said.
Ankai said the team may have had an issue with focus on certain occasions, but she said it should not be an issue this year.
“Last year we lost some of the seriousness we needed for the important meets, but I think we’ve accepted that and we’re trying to find the right balance,” Ankai said. “Overall, we are definitely much better than we were last year and I have high expectations for the year.”
Captain of the boys’ team Andrew Shibuya ’19 said that the team will be successful if they continue to work hard.
“As a team we’re working hard and building our depth which we’ve had in past years, and that is so important to our championship racing in the second half of the season,” Shibuya said.
With their newfound focus, Ankai said the cross country team hopes to run into success starting with Seaside.
“I expect that we’ll do great things at Seaside, but it will be nothing compared to how we will be running towards the end of the season,” Ankai said.