Speeding Into the Season With Girls Cross Country

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Speeding Into the Season With Girls Cross Country

Junior Alexa Mendoza races towards the finish line during the last lap of her race. Sage Creek races every year at the Dana Hills Nike Invitational.

Junior Alexa Mendoza races towards the finish line during the last lap of her race. Sage Creek races every year at the Dana Hills Nike Invitational.

Photo Courtesy of Sophia Vanslyke and Nolan Mejia

Junior Alexa Mendoza races towards the finish line during the last lap of her race. Sage Creek races every year at the Dana Hills Nike Invitational.

Photo Courtesy of Sophia Vanslyke and Nolan Mejia

Photo Courtesy of Sophia Vanslyke and Nolan Mejia

Junior Alexa Mendoza races towards the finish line during the last lap of her race. Sage Creek races every year at the Dana Hills Nike Invitational.

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For most people, summertime is filled with lazy mornings and long days at the beach. But, for the girls cross country team, summer looked a bit different. 

The team dedicated six days a week to training, working tirelessly to prepare for their upcoming season. 

The sacrifices of waking up early and canceling plans with friends were definitely not easy, however, they knew that the team goals they set demanded this type of commitment. 

“This season we want to win State again. There is a time record for State and we were really close last year so we want to break that this year,” senior Skyler Wallace said. 

Photo Courtesy of Sophia Vanslyke and Noe Avila
Senior Addie Ebbs prepares for a race solemnly. This past weekend, Ebbs raced at the Dana Hills Nike Invitational alongside her team.

Winning State is no small endeavor. Therefore, they are collectively looking to be a bit more strategic in terms of their workload. 

“We’re racing less this season which means that we will be stronger for more of the races. Our goal is to peak for State,” senior Lavanya Pandey stated. 

Although State may seem like a far ways away, the team’s success is reliant upon the focus on the small details. 

“I feel like in running… it’s not just about the running. It’s about the tiny things that you do overtime that add up. [E]ven if people think drills don’t matter, you have to do well in your drills,” Pandey elaborated.

Staying focused and motivated throughout the entire season can be difficult, therefore the leaders play a prominent role in keeping the team on track. 

“I really think that as a leader, just working as hard as I can sets a good example for the younger kids coming in so they know that the expectation is to work hard,” Wallace commented. 

In addition to displaying proper work ethics, the leaders set the tone for the team’s atmosphere. 

“You have to make sure you keep a positive attitude which is super important because it’s easy to be negative when you have a workout in front of you,” Pandey emphasized. 

The positive energy within the team helps to create a strong culture among all of the girls. 

“You have to have strong feelings for the girls that you are racing for. Otherwise, you won’t be able to think about anything when you’re racing because you will be too focused on the pain,” Pandey spotlights. 

Photo by Emma Velchek
The team recovers together after a long workout. Excited for the season ahead of them, they will do anything for the team to be successful.

The positive atmosphere has not been created overnight.  As a senior, Skyler Wallace has been able to witness this firsthand.  

“I feel like our team culture and atmosphere keeps improving each year,” she said. “We’ve been doing a lot more team building and we’re all pretty close.” 

For Freshman Malia Leupold, the team’s camaraderie was instantly showcased as they quickly welcomed her with open arms. 

“I really feel like a part of the team already even though I’ve only been on it for a month or so,” Leupold stated. 

Ultimately, the tight bonds created throughout the season help to elevate their chances for success. 

The girls are all up for the challenges of another competitive season and, for the seniors, this will be the last time they will embark on this journey all together. 

“I am looking forward to all of the lasts. It’s my last State and my last season with the team. I am just excited to appreciate it all and have fun with it,” Wallace emphasized. 

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