Updated: Sep 20, 2019
Wondering what cross country is? To put it simply, you spend hours training in the blazing sun, unrelenting rain, and musty weight room, to run a race that’s only 3 miles long. This may not sound normal to the average joe, but to the Eagle Rock cross country team, it sounds like a typical day at the office. Having run 300+ miles over summer practice, the Eagle Rock cross country team looks poised for another successful season. As the girls varsity team looks to become back to back city champions, the boys team is hopeful to become the first boys team in school history to win a city title. Recently, both teams proved to be some of the best in the section with outstanding performances at the Cool Breeze Invitational on September 6th.
On the girls side, led by sophomore Keely Miyamoto, the top 4 returners (Kiana Andrada, Iliana Garica-Lana, Celeste Corrigan) all ran new personal bests, some beating their old times by over 40 seconds. “The team’s performance at the Cool Breeze race was pretty successful... and it gave us an idea on what we need to focus on in order to improve our season,” comments the girl’s varsity captain, Andrea Camacho. Compared to their previous season’s number one competitor, Santee EC, the Eagles are looking ready for another dominant season.
However, the boys team had a bit of a tougher start to their season. Competing with some of the best teams and individuals in the nation, only 3 seniors (James Corrigan, Nick Jacobsmeyer, and me, Cedrik) managed to run faster season openers than last year. As for the rest of the varsity team (Ronald Pineda, David Juarez, Daniel Juarez, Pablo Zazueta), they believe that they could have run faster. “... a race is meant to be challenging and full of pain, but Cool Breeze just didn’t fit into that category for me,” explains junior Ronald Pineda, suggesting they had more in the tank at the end of the race.
However, their performances have only motivated them to train harder and run faster. “The Cool Breeze Invitational has given us a base to work up from, whether or not we achieved a goal for that night,'' says boys varsity captain James Corrigan. Looking forward, both teams aim to push themselves further at the upcoming Woodbridge Invitational on September 21st in Norco Valley. And it looks like they will only get faster from here because “...we are much further ahead than we were the previous year,” says Corrigan.
While all these performances set high standards for the rest of the season, it begs the question, how will the team fare when the nearly half the varsity team graduates? Can we expect the same level of success for the 2020 season? With 5 sophomore girls (Keely Miyamoto, Kiana Andrada, Iliana Garcia-Lana, Celeste Corrigan, Ixtalli Chavez) running school ranking times, the girls team looks set to dominate the city section for the next couple of years. In addition to the talented class of 2022, boys like Sam Yetter and Adam Lewis close out the varsity team. The boys side has “... a high chance that we might see some young varsity team members this year and it’s very exciting,” says Corrigan. So make sure to keep your eye out for any shiny new plaques hanging in the main office over the next few years.
But why do these students push themselves through these grueling races and workouts? “It's definitely not a glorious sport… where people are enthusiastic at the school level and you're not gonna get tons of fans” adds Coach Martinez. So why would you join? For girls team captain Andrea Camacho, “I ran with SRLA in 8th grade and I knew I wanted to continue running in high school, so I joined cross country. After my first year, the people on the team made me want to stay, but I also stayed for myself because I wanted to see myself improve.” In cross country, you run to warm up, you run to train, you run to race, and you run to cool down. You never stop running and that’s what makes cross country different from other sports. However much work you put, it shows in your results. “You do all this running to go run, you know it’s not a game you play,” adds Coach Martinez. So if you’re interested in the sport, pick up some running shoes, have your paperwork in, and stop by Room 208.