The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

The Talon

The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

The Talon

The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

The Talon

Eagles cross country dominates start of season

Following a successful debut at the Lowell Invitational, the Los Altos High School cross country team carried their momentum to the next two meets. At the Monterey Bay Invitational at Toro Park, both varsity teams won by over 70 points, and both JV teams won by around 20 points, solidifying an utter Eagle domination. Three days later, the team traveled to Baylands Park in Sunnyvale for their first league meet of the season, and once again, with the exception of the Frosh-Soph boys, swept the board.

“We sort of expected it from the girls, given their great season last year,” head coach Steph MacKenzie said. “But it’s been really exciting to watch both the varsity boys and JV boys. Our boys team is very young, so I thought this would be a building year, and that next year, the boy’s team was really gonna be challenging to beat at meets.”

“We came into the season expecting to run fast and run hard, not really to win,” senior Dylan Gibson said. “We weren’t planning for it. Obviously we hoped for it, but last year we were 15th at Lowell. This year we took first, so it was a huge jump.”

However, their success wasn’t so sudden. All summer long, the team trained consistently, maintaining fitness and building mileage.

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“The most important things for cross country are June, July and August,” coach Charles Alexander said. “We built up that foundation which built the confidence that if we did the work, we’d get the results. And then when we hit the season, our runners were just cranking out workouts and pushing each other.”

“Over the summer, varsity boys put a lot in,” junior Sreyas Kadiyala said. “We were running 50-mile weeks. It was tough, we had some injuries, but we battled through them.”

And as the season rolled around, the hard work and perseverance didn’t stop on either team.

“We developed the mindset to take our easy days easy, and our hard days hard,” sophomore Lily Symon said. “We’ve been upping our mileage, extending the workouts, and the results really have been showing.”

Effort and dedication are a big part of the team’s success, but it isn’t the whole story. Though cross country is typically seen as an individual sport, a strong sense of camaraderie often makes a good team great.

“Our teams have such good chemistry, and that’s a huge part of our success,” Sreyas said. “We’re really close, and we’ve become friends in and out of the sport. Spending all that time running, recovering and getting closer is certainly a key factor to where we’ve got.”

“Our spirit has been at its best this year,” senior Sam Stein said. “We’re all cheering each other on to the last person as they cross the finish line. We’re all circling up at the start line, we’re cheering louder than any of the other teams. These things — putting in the work, showing up for each other and having great team spirit and camaraderie — are what push us to the next level.”

While the varsity teams have received the most recognition for success, the efforts by all runners do not go unnoticed.

“The entire team is doing well,” Alexander said. “Top to bottom, all 126 runners, everybody is pushing themselves this year. If I look at the front, the middle and the back, I see a lot of determination. Everybody wants to improve their personal records. I’m thrilled that we have such a culture established.”

The cross country team will compete next at their second league meet at Crystal Springs in Belmont on Tuesday, October 3. The following weekend, the top 14 boys and girls runners will travel to Woodward Park in Fresno to compete at the Clovis Invitational.

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Milan Grbovic
Milan Grbovic, Staff Writer

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