Cross Country team improves, freshmen excel
The MHS cross country team is having a very successful season this year, according to Senior Sierra Brenciaglia, who has been running cross country for six years. The team’s prosperity can be attributed to the runners who have improved from last season, as well as the new freshmen additions to the team who have excelled in their field, according to Brenciaglia.
One of the main goals of the team’s coaches is to train their athletes to improves, said Brenciaglia. The coaches also hosted practices over the summer and on weekends, she said.
“We usually train for six days a week for two to three hours a day,” Brenciaglia stated. “Running about five miles a day is exhausting and a lot of work but it pays off in every race. The team has gotten a lot stronger compared to last year because of this.”
Many cross country athletes attribute their improvement to tougher practices, “I am much more focused at practice compared to last year since the practices are more rigorous this year,” Sophomore Andre Sha said. “I feel like that helped me improve the most.”
The coaches have incorporated more strenuous workouts to achieve this success, according to Cross Country Coach Bernie Ramos. These routines include running up to Summitpointe and increasing the amount of fartlek and track workouts.
“We usually have harder workouts on Tuesdays and Thursdays,” Ramos added. “The other days are usually rest days for athletes to practice timed runs.”
The Trojans also welcomed a new wave of freshmen this year, many of which have been running since they were in middle school. These additions to the team are already excelling at invitationals, said Brenciaglia.
“We go to invitational meets on Saturdays,” Freshmen Kaito Hashimoto said. “We’ve been to Artichoke Invitational at Half Moon Bay and a Crystal Springs Invitational in Belmont.” Hashimoto is running varsity in his first year of high school competition.
Many of the freshmen are still adjusting to the transition from middle school cross country to high school cross country.
“I think coming home later than usual is one of the hard parts because you have to do homework right after cross country practice, ” Freshmen Karen Nguyen said. “You might be lay but you know you have to finish your homework and all the projects you have.”
“In middle school we didn’t have as much homework, so it was easier to do sports,” Hashimoto stated.
Freshmen Jomar Mendoza said his love for the sport justifies the amount of time he spends running instead of doing homework.
“There’s no time to slack off, but I have to manage my time anyways since I’ve enjoyed running all my life. I’ve loved cross country ever since I was little because it helps me condition my body and train my legs,” Mendoza said.
Hashimoto, Nguyen, and Mendoza also plan on participating in track and field in the spring, as well as future cross country seasons in their remaining years of high school. They said they were likely to continue running because of their encouraging coaches.
“The coaches are really nice and push us to try our best,” Hashimoto stated. “They welcomed us with open arms and we really appreciate the amount of work they put into helping us improve.”