Cross Country Returning Runners Hope to Lead Team to Victories

Ryan Burns, Sports Editor

The cross country team is better in the long run whether the race is a 5K, a 2-mile, flat, or hilly.

Other athletes do not realize how much training is involved in this sport.

The cross country team runs up to eight miles a day on the horse trail along the American River about six days a week.

This may not sound like fun, but sophomore Nick Burchett said that “practices are the best part of my day.” This can be attributed to two things: the coach, Gordon Hubble, and the other runners.

Sophomore Paige Gowan likes Gordie because “he has an interesting sense of humor that we learn to love.”Burchett agrees.

“He pushes us but we can still joke around with him,” he said.

The cross country team shows a great bond of friendship, something that can be attributed to the fact that they all go through the physical and mental struggle together.

“The fact that I get to run with my friends everyday after school takes so much stress off my mind,” Burchett said.

Senior Macaulay Porter and junior Elizabeth Hutchinson lead the varsity girls team.

Porter is looking to recover from last year’s disappointing finish, when she struggled through the final race with a stress fracture in her foot.

Hutchinson dealt with health issues last year, too.

“Last year I had an iron deficiency so it was really hard to do well,” said Hutchinson.

The girls team started league with a victory over the reigning champion Whitney High School, led by Hutchinson, Porter, and Gowan.

Hutchinson finished first in the race with a time of 18:57 for a 3-mile race, finishing only 3 seconds in front of Porter. Gowan finished in seventh.

On the boys side, senior George Halvorsen and junior Kenji Anzai hope to lead the team to a high finish in league and qualify for sections and beyond.

In the same meet, Halvorsen and Anzai finished in fifth and sixth place with the one finishing 13 seconds ahead of the other.

These high finishes point to a promising season, and with their goals set, the cross country runners are ready for the season to kick into high gear.