Huffing and puffing through the afternoon sun, the cross country team has been training through the heat to increase their speed during practice.
This year, the team is welcoming a new head coach, Pam Harris. She is replacing the previous head coach, Dan Oren, who resigned over the summer due to unmentioned reasons. This unexpected transition between coaches has been hard on the players and other coaches, but the team is training just as hard.
“We are moving forward, and I think everyone’s really excited about [the upcoming season],” Harris said.
Although the team lost some skill when several seniors graduated, the team is working hard to replace the seniors who have left.
“Last year our team was really good,” junior Lauren Jacob said. “We had some older runners [and] this year we lost a bit of talent with the loss of our seniors. We have some work to do this year to catch up, but it’s pretty man- ageable because we have some good lower classmen that can slip up and the girls are looking much better.”
Building off of this optimism, they have started its season strong. The team competed at its first two invitational meets of the year at Toro Park and Golden Gate Park.
“The big news of the day was our sophomore girls team won their race [at Toro Park],” Assistant Coach Andrew Zaeske said in his newsletter to the team. “Last year they scored third [at Toro], but this year they pushed harder and got the trophy.”
There were also many strong individual performances, including juniors Ben Zaeske and Andreas Godderis placing second and fourth, respectively. They, like many of the team’s other athletes, hope to continue this momentum throughout the rest of the season and think they will continue to do well.
The first league match was September 23 at Crystal Springs where the team placed ninth. The team was missing their top seven runners who were resting for the Stan- ford Invitational meet on September 27. Results were unavailable at the press deadline. The team hopes to do much better in its next meet, since they will have all of their runners participating.
“We have a really awesome team that’s got a lot of potential,” Andreas said. “And we’re going to have a lot of success in the next few seasons.”