Cross Country Races to the Finish Line in First Meet of the Season at the Woodbridge Cross Country Classic


Gwyneth Yung

Boys’ junior varsity prepare to race before their track meet by running sprints. Theirs’ is the first race of the night and looks of exhaustion and excitement are on their faces.

Boys’ frosh cross country placed first, and boys’ varsity placed second at the Woodbridge Cross Country Invitational held at the Orange County Great Park Sept. 15-16. Seventy-five athletes ran a three-mile course in the first red division, which is based on school size.

Upcoming cross country invitationals include a meet on Sept. 24 at Dana Hills High, the Pacific Coast League OC Champs on Oct. 15 and the Mount SAC Cross Country Invitationals on Oct. 14. 

“We’ve been running the course a little bit and scoping it out. We’ve also been doing lots of different workouts like off-campus runs, which are usually like 6-7 miles, and then we sometimes do track workouts.” said freshman Ella Bailey. “We did a couple of practice races and time trials against people in Portola cross country just to get us used to the feeling of being in a race.” 

Some standout runners in the race include sophomore Sophie Guilfoile, who got second in her division, junior Ethan Chan, who is now the new three-mile record holder for Portola High, and senior Jadyn Zdvanavage, who broke a personal record with a time of 16 minutes, 41 seconds, according to head cross country coach Brittany Frymire. 

“It was great to have so many individuals celebrating each other and cheering each other on, especially coming off of the pandemic,” head cross country coach Brittany Frymire said. “We’re finally back into races without all these restrictions,  and so the camaraderie was just amazing to be at this race.”

In preparation for this meet, cross country utilized speed workouts and interval repetitions to improve their performance. Practices were challenging at times, but the team was successful in their races, according to Frymire. 

“I think team bonding is good in running or cross country and it is especially the most intertwined of sports between your teammates,” junior Wonu Park said. “Even though in sports like football and soccer, you depend on your teammates, I still feel like you get to know your teammates better in cross country.” 

Woodbridge Cross Country Classic brought together the top teams and individuals from multiple schools, primarily from the Southern California area. The Bulldogs competed against top-ranked high schools in the country: Laguna Hills High, Mission Viejo High and Woodbridge High.