Running with Pride

Traditional cross country season occurs in early August until the first week of March. This year, the season is scheduled to begin on Feb. 6 with six dual-meets every Saturday until March 20. Until then, the forty athletes in the cross country program are loyally training in preparation for their long-awaited first meet. 

“Nothing’s for sure, other than to be resilient,” head coach Victor Quiros said. “Uncertainty makes it hard to perform each time, but we’re doing our best to put forth our best efforts in each practice so that we are ready for competition when that date comes.”

This season, the team is limited to dual-meets (where two teams compete) and potentially tri-meets (where three teams compete) only within the Pacific Coast League: significantly fewer than the eight meets they had in prior seasons and on much smaller scales than invitational-style meets in the past. Regardless, the 40 cross country athletes continue to train in four pods, 10-feet apart. Each pod is assigned one of four cross country coaches (Rodney Anzai, Rick Glenn, Cale Kavanaugh and Victor Quiros), all of whom have head-coach experience.

“I think the athletics department did a really good job of making sure we can actually have practices as a team,” freshman Elise Ngo said. “It’s really encouraging, running with a team. It’s a more cohesive environment, and you’re running for a purpose together.”

Despite having different motives for entering the sport, athletes on the team share the same journey toward one destination: persisting through practice and enduring through the races.

“The main goal is to get everyone enthusiastic about running,” senior and cross country captain Nathan Lo said. “It’s brutal; you’re dying. You’re on fire; you want to stop. You feel your feet, your blisters, your skin. You’re dying. But then I think of my teammates. If I stop, it’ll put them down too, so we keep going.”