Cross country hoping to take league title


This cross country season is like no other. All three coaches, head coach Dao Tep and his assistant coaches — John Avina and Mike Avina — are highly confident about taking the league title.

With the new season, a closer team, and improved players, according to John Avina, these factors will lead the girls team to take league title. In previous years, the girls cross country team didn’t even have enough players to compete. They would participate in meets, but their scores wouldn’t count, and they would automatically be disqualified.

Towards the end of last season, though, the girls team had enough players and they placed third. “To see how we rose from dead last to third was pretty cool,” Tep said. “It does give us coaches some hope for this season.”

Recognizing the capability of taking first, all three coaches have intensified training this year. “Right now we’ve been working on different breathing and sprinting techniques,” John Avina said. “It’s definitely going to help in the long run.”

Sophomore Veronica Flores is considered to be a key asset in winning league this year. Last year, she earned most valuable player for both cross country and track and field. Flores said that not only having improved players is going to help them, but also the closer bond the team has with one another. “We’re very close, especially the girls team,” Flores said. “This helps us when we run because we encourage each other.”

Senior Lizeth Barajas recognizes how hard her team works, and hopes to see that dedication continue through the season. “We’re all pushing ourselves past our limits,” Barajas said. “It’s definitely going to pay off.”

Unfortunately the season hasn’t started off well. Some key runners didn’t return as expected, and new players aren’t improving as fast as the coaches want. In Mike Avina’s eyes, the girls taking title is not so guaranteed.

Despite this, Tep is remaining optimistic. “I know that this team will pull through, I believe in them wholeheartedly.” “We just have to keep our heads up high and stay confident.”