Cross Country Continues Sprinting Towards a Successful Year


Jisang Yoo

UC High’s Cross Country Team gathers after a Friday run.

Jisang Yoo, News Editor

   Thanks to its runners’ endless dedication, UC High’s Cross Country Team is ready to strive for greatness.

   Junior Nathan Lien said, “Our usual week of training is a six to eight mile run on Mondays, four to six mile runs on Tuesdays, three to four mile runs on Wednesdays, then Thursday is our race day, and then three to four mile runs on Fridays. Lastly, the hardest run, a ten to twelve mile run we do on Saturdays.”

   It takes hard work and persistence to prepare for the cross country season. Coach Gimi McCarthy said, “If you want to join the team, the best time to do it is in the early summer. We spend 12 weeks building a massive summer base of mileage. Some kids are running as much as 750 miles in that time, and that really prepares them for the season.”

   Senior Gael McClain Martinez said, “You have to put in the dedication and consistency to your training and as long as you have those qualities, you should be good.” McCarthy added, “Consistency is crucial. You need to stay consistent. You can’t show up one day and not show up the next. Building a strong base of consistent mileage makes you stronger.”

   McCarthy is a great motivational coach to the runners. Senior Olivia Halter said, “Coach always encourages us to do our best during practice and reminds us of our goals of going to state and working together as a team.”

   The races can be mentally and physically difficult. Junior Ryan Willems said, “The past few races have been tough, because there are fewer people to stick with and the terrains were rough.” Halter said, “Courses that have a lot of hills are always most difficult to mentally persevere through.”

   Lien said, “Thanks to our training from last season, I’m able to run more miles than last season and run farther at a faster pace.” Willems said, “The training and the workouts improve our speed and endurance for races.”

   The positive team dynamic allows for running and practice to be more enjoyable. McCarthy said, “The runners have respect for each other, because they see how hard each one is training. The guys are out there running fourteen miles at a six minute pace and it hurts, but it’s a glorious kind of hurt and they love it, because they fuel off of each other.” He added, “There’s a rhythm when running, like a dance. They just fly along and once they meet that rhythm, they all run as a unit.”

   Martinez said, “Our relationship is really good. We hang out a lot both during and outside of practice. A few good things about cross country is that you don’t always have to be focusing on running; you can talk while you’re running and I think that makes us grow a lot closer as a team.”