The Student News Site of Harvard-Westlake School

The Harvard-Westlake Chronicle

The Student News Site of Harvard-Westlake School

The Harvard-Westlake Chronicle

The Student News Site of Harvard-Westlake School

The Harvard-Westlake Chronicle

Cross country prepares for fall season with trip to Big Bear Lake

Saisha Kumar
HIGH ALTITUDE: Members of the boys and girls cross country team pose together for a team picture out in the wilderness of Big Bear Lake.

The boys’ and girls’ cross country teams went on retreat to Big Bear Lake during their preseason for additional training and team bonding Aug. 8-13.

Cross Country and Track Head Jonas Koolsbergen ’83 said the Big Bear retreat is a special tradition passed down every year.

“The trip is an important part of [the school’s] cross country tradition and a super memorable part of each season, including this one,” Koolsbergen said. “Many aspects of [the retreat] continue every year and are extremely helpful and important. Big Bear is very special.”

Cross country team captain Phoebe Hsu ’24 said the time spent doing activities and workouts helped the teams come closer.

“Spending nearly an entire week with the teams really allowed everyone to get to know each other,” Hsu said. “Our days were filled with intense card games, icing at the lake and of course the shared pain of hard workouts. All of that helped strengthen our team bond, and I definitely came out of the week excited to start the season with some of my favorite people.”

Cross country team captain Leo Craig ’24 said the teams are willing to put in the work necessary this season.

“My personal goals for the season are to help lead our team to CIF Finals and the California State Meet,” Craig said. “While we missed out on going to state last year because of an unluckily timed sickness that swept through the team, we’re ready to
go all the way this year. We have such a deep and talented team this year, and we all put in the hard work day in and day out to make our goals achievable. During the season, we’re working on strengthening our mental toughness along with our normal workouts so that we’re as prepared as possible come race day.”

Ella Graber ’25 said running with teammates helps her push beyond the mental boundaries of adversity in training.

“Running with a team helps you maintain an intense standard of training and helps you push yourself beyond your limits,” Graber said. “At times when I cannot motivate myself and feel like slowing down, the group of teammates that I am running with keeps me going. I am so lucky to be part of an amazing and supportive team at [the school] that has contributed so much to my running experience and personal growth.”

The boys’ and girls’ teams first meet is the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) Invitational Sept. 2.

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Justin Tang, Assistant Sports Editor
Saisha Kumar, Assistant Features Editor

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