Based upon the success of the 2011 season, the Varsity Cross-Country team is currently ranked by the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) as the 12th best team out of the 74 in the Southern Section’s Division IV.
Comprised of 16 runners from 9th through 12th Grades, the team started training in early August and on Oct. 4 beat rival school Immaculate Heart High School, 28 to 27.
At the Bellarmine-Jefferson Cross-Country Invitational, a 2.9 mile race through Griffith Park which took place on Sept. 22, the team placed 8th out of the 16 schools in their division, which was quite a feat considering that three important runners were absent: Co-Captain Jade Harvey ’13, Bianca Williams-Alonzo ’16 and Lindsay Phillips ’14.
In August, team members attended practice twice a week, on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Routinely, they would endure an eight-mile run or a fast-paced, four-mile sprint.
“It’s a hard sport, because you have to be so self-disciplined,” Math instructor and Coach Amanda Kissinger said.
Harvey said that she is confident in her teammates, citing their great success at the Sept. 8 Bosco Tech Invitational at the Santa Fe Dam Recreational Arena, when in the three-mile race Kate MacCary ’15 placed first, with a time of 18:52, and Williams-Alonzo placed second, with a time of 19:10.
“They dominated the race,” Harvey said. The team ultimately placed 8th out of 52 teams.
Despite the grueling, daily practices, Harvey said that the pressure of competition gives way to feelings of closeness rather than animosity.
“We’ve focused a lot this season on each individual runner as well as team spirit,” Harvey said. “After Rosemead [Invitational on Sept. 16], we had an intense team bonding sleepover followed by a beach run.”
CIF Prelims, which will determine who participates in the Nov. 17 Finals, are scheduled to take place at Mt. San Antonio College on Nov. 10.