Cross Country Cruises Into State Championships


Courtesy of Aleyda Martinez

Members of the Cross Country Team pictured at the CIF Cross Country State Championship.

Miguel Saez, Staff Writer

The UC High Cross Country Team had a very successful season, capped off with a strong showing at the CIF Cross Country State Championships.

   Our Cents worked hard all year to make it to state. “We had been working hard since the summer, practicing six days a week, sometimes even seven,” Senior Zachary Patterson had to say. “We’re hoping our work shows off and we can make it to the States.”

   Safe to say the teams had a good season. They definitely had their fair share of hurdles to cross, but they eventually got back to accomplishing their goals. “We definitely came back stronger than ever,” said Patterson. “Though we fell a little behind due to some injuries on the team and some sicknesses,  I think we handled it well and got back on pace.”

  All that hard work paid off for the Centurions with a great performance at state. “I would say the state meet went really well, all of us hit our PRs and are extremely happy with how we did. The Girls Team placed twelveth in our division and I qualified individually placing forty-first out of two-hundred,” stated Junior Gael McClain Martinez. 

   “We exceeded the expectations of ourselves and even our coaches were surprised. We initially didn’t even know we were going to make it to state so we’re all extremely happy we did better than expected,” said Martinez.

  Junior Jenna O’Beirne stated that the Girls’ Team also had a strong season. “We had a really close group of girls [this year] and it was super fun. We enjoyed all our runs together, and they were always fun and exciting. It’s always better when you have something to talk about and friends to talk to,” said O’Beirne who placed thirty-ninth individually at the state meet.

   They have shown a lot of improvement throughout this year, demonstrated in their races, despite injuries and illnesses. “I feel like I didn’t do that well last year. It was kind of all over the place because of COVID-19 and stuff,  but this year, I believe I did a lot better and so did the team,” Senior Joseph DePascale said. “I couldn’t be prouder of this team, and [the state meet] was a nice cherry on top.”

   The Centurions owe much of their success to the unique bond with each other. “Our chemistry was definitely there,” said Patterson. “We were always there for eachother, always picking each other up in our ups and downs and as we know. Cross country is a team sport so I would have to say our success is due to all of us and not just individuals.”

   The positive atmosphere was always there. You can really see the joy and happiness this sport brings to these people. “The environment we create is a great atmosphere,” said DePascale. “We always go in with a great mindset, never thinking negatively, no matter what situation we’re in. We just keep moving forward, seeing how we can improve with a smile on our faces.”

   The coaching has really contributed to the success this year. They have really been on top of things and doing everything they can to help the athletes both mentally and physically. Martinez said, “The coaches this year have been incredible. They are very interactive and are always on top of things helping us with whatever we need on and off the track.”