Desolate, dry, barren… one of the many ways to describe the desert course that is Crystal Springs. To begin, the athletes walked the course to familiarise themselves with the run. Then the different teams all huddled up together and the announcer gave an inspiring speech and encouraged them to try their best. After that, the meet started. In groups, starting with Fresh-Soph Boys then Fresh-Soph Girls, then JV and Varsity. The course at Crystal Springs has a view that is breathtaking. No… It literally takes your breath…
The course stands overlooking the highway, rolling mountains, and a glistening lake. The temperature out at this course also regularly reaches 90 degrees and is known to exceed that. This course stretches on for about 2.95 miles. Despite these harsh conditions, the cross team has meets here on a consistent basis.
Only tough athletes with strong willpower and determination can persevere through the pain and run this course. Runners usually train for hours getting ready for this course and some still pass out along the way! Despite all this, our cross team braves their way through this rigorous course time and time again.
Oceana’s cross country team trains everyday after school. Training involves rigorous 4-mile runs, including running hills,” and sets of 1200-meter pacers around the track. Usually they stretch after that and then proceed to cool down laps which often serve as the last thing before practice ends. Often even injured team members come to practice to give moral support and try to encourage their teammates showing that cross isn’t purely athletic skill but also a link to school spirit, community, and friendship. These students are clearly committed to the team.
Many even engage in off-season running to keep up their stamina and skills. Others use this time to improve further and move up in ranking. An example of this is Nate Chang, who ran a total of 362 miles over the summer to improve!
Leading our cross country team are co-captains Florence Chang and Ronary Castor, both juniors. Each have put in tremendous effort and continue to build themselves and improve with their fellow athletes.
As important as those leaders are, none of the amazing feats our cross country team has accomplished could have been done without all the amazing members of the cross team. This includes aforementioned co-captains Florence Chang and Ronary Castor, Aleon Abude, Eli Baterina, Connor Chan, Hannah Chan, Nate Chang, Kristi Chin, Hailey Chui, Jezaree Go, Laurenz Guinid, Nell Layno, Jiayi Li, Diego Lorino, Alison Luo, Gordon Ly, Jordan Martin, Tucker Nagamine, Anthony Orozco, Jude Orsua, Suren Sinai, Jackson Smallwood, Sage Snyder, Yvone Su, Brandon Su, Jessica Zhao, and Luis Diaz. Staying on the cross team alone is an achievement in of itself and I want to congratulate these team members for making it through the entire season.
Each member of the cross team gives their time and energy to practice and improve day in and day out. They show just how much strong the human spirit can be. All are very committed and dedicated to the team. Through the shedding of blood, sweat, and tears this team shows what a close-knit group is and their camaraderie and strength is something that many of us envy.