by EVELYN WONG
Hoping to gain experience before their first league meet, the harriers will compete at the Woodbridge XC Classic at the Orange County Great Park Sept. 19.
The Spartans competed at the Rosemead Invitational Sept. 12; due to a power outage in part of the course, however, the senior boys’ and senior girls’ races were cancelled.
Medals were awarded to the top 42 finishers in each race. Among the boys teams, runners who medaled included juniors Andres Cazares-Dominguez, Jose Govea and Josue Gutierrez; sophomore Stephen Castillo and freshman Dustin Vu.In the girls’ races, sophomores Lizbeth Cano and Gabriela Ocariz and freshmen MaraiAtanacio and Isabella Veljacic received medals.
In their first preseason meet at the Cool Breeze Invitational Sept. 5, the top 30 finishers in each race received medals. Of the medalists from the boys team were seniors Arturo Rivera and Abraxaz Sanchez, andsophomore Damian Sanchez.
In the varsity boys race, A. Sanchez placed 9th, while Rivera placed 14th. Competing in the sophomore boys race, D. Sanchez placed 29th.
Among the girls teams, senior Gabrielle Mendoza and sophomore Lizbeth Cano each received medals. Both competing in the varsity girls race, Cano and Mendoza placed 25th and 28th, respectively.
“Although we are a small group compared to past years, the girls team is doing very well this year,” said Mendoza, varsity girls co-captain. “My goal is to try to push everyone in the best way I can and to light the fire in my teammates to run their hardest, so that as a team we have the ability to win league again.”
Continuing daily practice and participating in weekend invitationals, the harriers hope to secure another league title for all six divisions.
“I truly believe that the cross country team has a chance to make history this year,” said Gutierrez, varsity boys co-captain. “With a team that only seems to get stronger with experience, I can confidently say we’re only going to improve as the season progresses.”
In addition to having a common goal among members to remain undefeated in league, many runners have set personal goals.
“My personal goals areto run my hardest and fastest into league and CIF because it is my senior year,” said Mendoza. “It will be the last time I will be in this type of competition, whether I decide to run in college or not.”