Squad secures victory in successful opener


Printed with permission of Will Samuels

First to Finish: Following the first race of the season, Daniela Quintero ’22 and Print Managing Editor Will Sheehy ’22 lift first place trophies for the girls and boys divisions, respectively, at the Gahr High School Race.

Paul Kurgan

The cross country team kicked off the 2021-2022 season with a two-mile run in the 27th annual Summer Series Run at Gahr High School.

Runner and Chronicle Print Managing Editor Will Sheehy ’22 placed first in the male division and runner Daniela Quintero ’22 placed first in the female division.
Quintero said she is excited for the upcoming season.

“Winning the Gahr race was a really good start to the season,” Quintero said. “I was able to use this race as a check-in with my training, so winning it motivated me to continue putting in the work and training hard.”

Runner Violet Barron ’22 said she is proud of her team’s success and its ability to overcome a turbulent season.

“The race made me realize how much of a team we remain, even after the loss of last year’s season to the pandemic and several key senior members to graduation,” Barron said. “We all came together on a summer weekday afternoon and showed the world that the Wolverines are back and better than ever.”

The team traveled to Big Bear Aug. 10 to train for upcoming races. The Wolverines had a 34-athlete turnout at their annual four-day retreat, staying in cabins on-site and undertaking daily hill runs, 10-mile workouts and canoe races.

Runner Sophia Rascoff ’23 said she feels prepared for her season races and said spending time training with the team was special and rewarding.
“The [Big Bear retreat] was a super fun and valuable experience, both for running and team bonding,” Rascoff said. “It was awesome getting to hang out with the team outside of practice time, and the [retreat] has so many fun traditions that we got to partake in.”

Cross Country and Track and Field Program Head Jonas Koolsbergen ’83 said his team faced many obstacles because of the pandemic. He said he has high expectations for his group of athletes given how hard they have worked this season already.

“The team has learned a lot about being adaptable, being flexible and finding ways to make it work over the pandemic,” Koolsbergen said. “We were super successful because we had taken on an approach [that prepared us] to [win].”