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Portola Pilot

The student news site of Portola High School

Portola Pilot

The student news site of Portola High School

Portola Pilot

Cross Country Bridges the Path to Success at Woodbridge Classic

Freshmen girls, freshmen boys, sophomore girls and sophomore boys placed second, seventh, second and third respectively at the annual Woodbridge Classic on Sept. 15, blazing past the finish line of the three mile course. Junior boys placed sixth, and varsity boys placed fourth. Over 400 teams gathered at the Great Park for the national cross country meet in which novice races were separated by grades, and varsity races were open to all grade levels.

“Many of our runners PR-ed even though the course was longer than advertised at almost a 5k instead of 3 miles,” cross country coach Brittany Frymire said. “So I was very happy with all of the runner performances at the Woodbridge Classic.”

Standout individual runners include junior Sophie Guifoile, who placed first in the varsity girls race, freshman Noah Spickler, who placed third in the freshman boys race and freshman Shriya Viswanathan. For Viswanathan, placing second in the freshman girls race served as motivation to step out of her comfort zone and continue to compete in more challenging races, according to Visawanathan.

“I was really nervous because it’s my first three mile race and actually my second race ever,” Viswanathan said. “I am definitely proud of myself for achieving this since I just started cross country, and it was my friends who pushed me to join this first. I didn’t realize I would actually be good, so I am definitely going to push myself from here.”

Practices began with base building, which requires team members to run long distances to build stamina, according to senior Wonu Park. After achieving high endurance levels, runners enter fartlek training, which consists of running continuously at varying paces to increase speed. The team also ran the mostly flat three mile course before the official race to get a preview of the challenge ahead, according to Park.

“When running the course alone with a team, it all made sense,” Park said. “But once that gun goes off and you’re running with 200 other kids in a race, you’re gonna get knocked over, and you’re gonna get shoved. So you have to embrace that it’s gonna feel scary in the real race. Be prepared for the unexpected since it’s the one of the largest cross country meets in the United States.”

Despite the intense competition, the shared love for running between students from across the country makes the Woodbridge Classic a highlight of the cross country season, according to freshman Kristi Harig.

“Even in my race, this one girl was running ahead of me, and she just suddenly said, ‘Come on, you got it,’” Harig said. “So it’s just really cool seeing all the different runners come together. Of course, I love the exercise part of this sport, but it just pales in comparison to everybody being so sweet.”

The next cross country meet will be the Sunny Hills Invitational at Sunny Hills High School on Sept. 29th.

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About the Contributor
Madeline Chung, Arts and Entertainment Editor
Madeline Chung is the Arts and Entertainment Editor for her second and final year on the Portola Pilot. When she is not complaining about how terrible she is at Physics C concepts, you will find her screaming her heart out at karaoke, grooving to New Jeans, or indulging in her favorite foods: Korean BBQ, hotpot, ramen… you name it (not sushi though—she’s allergic). If she is not harassing Elise Ngo, she will be trying to savor every final moment in the newsroom.. and at Portola High. She is so excited to make her last year count.
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    BILLY BULLDOG | Oct 1, 2023 at 10:58 pm

    WOOOOOOOOOOO GO PORTOLA XC

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