Cross Country Runners Face Challenges, Find Rewards

As the wind blew in their faces and the sun beamed, Cross Country runners strode down the track with a crowd of friends, fans, and family cheering. Coaches judged the student athletes on their skills as they passed their competition with pride and crossed the line to victory.

The victories came with challenges.

Leslie Maciel, 7th, found Greenwood the hardest because of all the mud and hills.

“For the up hills, I slowed down, and for the down hills, I would go faster,” Leslie said.

Jasmine De La Fuente, 8th, also felt that the mud and hills were difficult.

“I’m most proud of finishing every race and never quitting,” Jasmine said.

Juan Osorio’s last race was difficult, tiring, and hard.

“I thought I would pass out,” Juan said. “That’s why I quit.”

At the Mansfield meet, Arely Ruiz, 8th, kept pushing hard even if the pain was burning her.

“While running, I jumped over a muddy puddle and got the best time ever!” Arely said. “I never gave up and never will.”

The greatest challenge for Adamaris Ramirez, 8th, was Van Buren.

“It was very muddy, and my shoe got stuck and came off,” Adamaris said. “Overall, I am most proud of my time because it decreased a little at each meet. I’m also proud of how hard I tried to improve.”

The third meet was Leandro Martinez’s greatest obstacle.

“I overcame the challenges of rough course conditions by believing that I could make the impossible possible,” Leandro said.

To overcome rough course conditions, Addison Carter, 7th, reminded herself that she was not the only person running the race.

“Every time there was a hill, I knew others were climbing them, too, and when it was muddy, they were running in it, also,” Addison said.

Proud of their running times, the teammates maintained confidence. Every next race they would want to beat their previous time and they did. Any time they slowed down, onlookers encouraged them to get back up.

“I am proud that my friends and I didn’t give up on Cross Country,” Natalyn Sounyaphong, 7th, said. “I had never done this sport before, and it was hard at first, especially when it was hilly and muddy. Mud is just gross.”

Addison is most proud of her time at the Mansfield meet.

“I ran the two mile in 15:48,” Addison said. “I am really grateful that Cross Country helped me make friends.”

Elaine Hays, 7th grader, is most proud of the Greenwood race.

¨I beat my personal record,” Elaine Hays, 7th, said. “My teammates pushed me to keep going.”

Coach Candelaria is most proud of the commitment and work ethic of the team, including 7:15 a.m. practices.

“Nothing like starting your day off with a mile or two then off to class for the day,” Coach Candelaria said. “I’m also very proud of their determination to run two-mile races, which is what our races consist of in Cross Country. That is no small feat.”