XC Heads to the Races

Claire Hardesty, Writer

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When the starting gun fired, the start of an infamous fight between the best schools throughout California for the title of State Champion began. Cross Country is a sport that doesn’t just challenge the physical body, it also gets runners to push their minds out of their comfort zones.

The hard work is not put to waste as the whole team has one collective goal: to win state. This is a feat familiar to the cross country team as the girls have won six times in the past. The boys, however, have yet to leave the state course as champions.The hours of preparation and races that lead up to the battle for “best in the state” was a summer of intense training.  

State is not the only goal the team has. Two years ago the girls team won state and qualified for NXN, which in simpler terms is national for cross country. Savannah Scriven was one of these girls but was only a freshman when she went to nationals.

“At NXN, everything was a new experience, and everything was amazing,” said Scriven.”We got Nike backpacks, jerseys, shoes and other running stuff, it was like we were sponsored, and it was a crazy feeling.”  

Scriven has had many successful races and seasons but has high hopes for the outcome of this season as well.

“This season I know we can win state because each race we get better at running and competing as a team,” she stated. “I think when state comes around we will all be prepared and come together to win.”

Head coach Brian Shapiro had high hopes for the team as well.

“We can compete with any team in CIF and state, but the outcome of the state meet depends on the day we have,” Shapiro said.

The cross-country team has taken two travel trips this year to compete in highly competitive races.

“We have taken two travel trips to extremely competitive meets in Idaho and Clovis Fresno this year. Clovis was more successful because we were focused on seeing the state course,” Shapiro said.

Along with experienced runners like Scriven, some new faces have joined the team this year. They’ve proved themselves to have tremendous potential as crucial assets to the team in the future. Matthew Cartmill, a freshman who has been running since seventh grade, has had some incredible performances in races this season.

“My first travel trip was very exciting especially because it’s the state course and one day I want to run a crazy time there and win alongside my team, so it was great to learn the course and the vibe of the place,” Cartmill said.

Aspirations of running and winning state are alive throughout the team, from runners going on their first travel trip to those hoping to take a win in their last race of high school.

From start to finish our cross-country teams are looking better than ever. Keep an eye on them because our school may have state champions and possibly even national runners walking our halls soon.

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