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Cross country season overview


Cross country returns for the third fall season

[/media-credit] Fresno Christian runners compete at Tesoro Viejo, Sept. 30.

Demanding daily discipline, cross country requires pain tolerance and mental toughness from its team. Cross country season has arrived here at Fresno Christian. Over the past three years, Coach James Garcia has grown from a three member team to 12 people for this season. 

“A benefit of the team growing is that we want to build running as a culture,” Garcia said. “As the team begins to grow people notice the places they go to. It makes other kids want to be a part of this team.”

Garcia works hard to make sure his team enjoys their time together and build comradery.  

“The other day our practice ended with a game of kickball,” Garcia said. “It’s just great to see them playing and giving each other a hard time when one of them makes a bad kick.”

Although they have no home games, the team does get to run in some exciting meets, including the Woodbridge Classic in Irvine.  

For some runners, like senior Antonio Ruelas, it is their first time running competitively.

“I wanted to do independent PE and I needed a second sport,” Ruelas said. “I think cross country can help me in all sports. For instance, in soccer I think it will make me a little faster and just help me with my lung capacity.”

Ruelas acknowledges the difficulties of starting off running with other runners that have far more experience and balancing mental toughness with running.

“I remember at the first cross country meet it hit me,” Ruelas said. “I was like, ‘I’m in a meet and I’m going to run two miles and not stop.’ I would say the toughest part of running is the mental aspect. If you feel like you’re not going fast enough or are struggling to finish, you have to be able to handle it.

[/media-credit] The cross country team treks through miles of terrain at each meet.

Last season junior Emma Connolly ran in the State Meet at Woodward Park.

“Running at the State Meet was a really amazing experience,” Connolly said. “I’ve never seen so much support for the sport of cross country like I did there. It made me really excited to put a lot of work in this upcoming season and try and make a really good run at states this year.”

Connolly expects to have an even better season this year after being in recovery for her ACL injury last season.

“During my sophomore season I was in the beginning stages of my ACL recovery, so I basically had to start from zero,” Connolly said. “This year I have a way better base to start with and I feel so much stronger and faster.”

Garcia has been varying practice routines more this year in hopes to better round out his runners’ skills.

“Coach Garcia’s practices are definitely playing into that as well,” Connolly said. “We’re starting to implement more strength and mobility training in addition to the running portion of our practices.”

The next meet is at Clovis East, Oct. 28, beginning at 8:30 AM.

To read more from The Feather, go to Column: college fair tips and tricks or PROMO: Choir this 2022-23 School Year.

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Nathan Bridges
Nathan Bridges, Journalist
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