A Fresh Start of a New Season

On September 11, 2009, the West High Girls’ Cross Country team had an excellent start of the new season at their first meet. The team came in 12th place out of 28 schools that competed at the Seaside Invitational.

To prepare for races, Cross Country runners practice up to six or seven days every week for two hours a day. During the races, the athletes focus on their speed as they run three miles. Along with practice runs and long runs, which can be up to 8 miles or more, they must also perform exercises on the track. Although these workouts can be strenuous, it helps the athletes prepares athletes for the meets as well as the challenges that they may face during the race.

Athletes also set goals, or Personal Records, for themselves. Amber Pata (9) ran her first high school race at the Seaside Invitational. “I don’t get nervous before the races, but rather excited,” Pata said. She prepares for each meet by exercising every day, and her goal is to run at a faster time at the next race.

Another athlete, who is in her second year of Girls Cross Country, is Paige Kelty (10). During her freshman year in Cross Country, she was able to make the Varsity team. This year, Paige’s goals are to break her PR of 19:30, make the Varsity team, and to state. When asked how she is preparing for the races, she replied, “I’m trying to be mentally prepared and trying the best that I can.” Her favorite and least favorite workouts, according to the level of difficulty, are the 200s and the 800s, respectively.

During races, teammates can be sighted cheering encouragements for one another, such as, “Go West!” or “You can do it!”. Teamwork is also demonstrated by pushing each other to run harder and faster.

Their next meet is on Saturday, September 19th, 4:45 p.m. at Woodbridge High School. The order of events will be as follows: JV girls, freshman girls, sophomore girls, freshman boys, sophomore boys, Varsity girls, junior boys, and finally, senior boys. Good Luck!