The race is on as runners prepare for this year’s cross country season and runners are optimistic as the season begins its long stride to the finish line.
Senior and captain of the boy’s division, Kenji Anzai, is amongst the hopeful, especially for the boy’s divison.
“The boy’s division has always had trouble in the past, but I think this year will be different because we have a lot of new freshmen that look promising, and as for the girl’s division, they’ve always been excellent,” said Anzai.
In fact, the girl’s division is no stranger to excellence, seeing as they made it to state finals the first time in 20 years last season, but junior and third year runner, Paige Gowan, seemed a bit skeptical whether this year’s girl division will make it that far.
“It’s a definite maybe,” said Gowan. “A lot of the girls that got us to the state finals graduated last year, so that might affect us. On the other hand, both divisions have a good chance at beating Whitney this year.”
Indeed, Whitney has been the school’s top competitor. The girl’s division places second right after Whitney, then the boy’s division places fourth following Whitney, Antelope and Cordova.
Junior Nick Burchett is also confident that both divisions would cause trouble for Whitney.
“I expect a great season this year. We’ve gained some strong runners for both varsity divisions, and we will probably upset Whitney,” said Nicolaus Burchett. “And the boys varsity might even make it to state.”
However, it has been ten years since the boy’s division had made it to state, but maybe the new additions to the varsity team will aid them in their goal to victory.
When questioned about the cross country team’s weaknesses, senior and captain, Elizabeth Hutchinson found it difficult to answer.
“That’s a hard one,” Hutchinson replied. “We don’t do well with the heat, we need to work on sprinting and sometimes the final stretch of the race is the most difficult for us.”
The team’s strengths came quickly to Hutchinson’s mind.
“Our endurance gets better the more we practice, we get better at hills and we adjust ourselves to different terrains and weather.”
The cross country team remain eager to reach state championships, but for now they will continue running on the trails in preparation for the season to come.