By: Carson Van Vooren
Cross Country is a sport that Samueli Academy provides, and motivated runners have joined to compete in meets, competitions, or just to run. This club and sport has been present in this school since the very first school year, which was in 2013. Since the current school year is the last school year for Senior Cross Country runners, the leadership of the team will have to be carried on, and so will some traditions.
Moises Marquez, Cross Country team captain and Senior, was inquired on exactly how the school sport came to be. He said, “In my freshman year, we had a cross country team, I wasn’t a part of it. I wouldn’t consider it a season... the season only lasted for one month, then I was given the option from Coach Kalbhenn to run every Tuesday and Thursday. Then, we entered a league the next year, so I’d say we’ve come a long way.” Ever since the sport began in Samueli Academy’s first school year, every year has seen a monumental improvement since then from adding new runners, coaches, and entering into new leagues.
In the team’s most recent season, they performed exceptionally well, finishing many races strong, and nearing the state championships. “We were the only team in our division to get this far in their first varsity season,” stated Moises Marquez.
The Cross Country team was on their “A-game,” but the only problem was that the season would be the last for many Senior students who are graduating soon, so they are going to need new captains for their team.
As a reward for the milestone season, the coaches hosted a banquet meal on the 28th of February, at Jon’s Incredible Pizza, for all the players and their families to enjoy themselves with a buffet and arcade games. Then, there were awards given out to the Varsity and Junior Varsity divisions, and new positions for the upcoming leaders in the team. Along with the newly-added tradition of signing, the soon to be replaced leader’s name on a shirt, with the years they led.
It was very emotional gathering the entire Cross Country team together, for the last time. Saying farewell to the senior players in the team will be tough, but the team keeps its head up with the new leaders that were elected, including William Parker and Daniela Mota.
Samueli’s Cross Country’s future looks bright, and confidence abounds in the team. Moises Marquez will always be optimistic about their upcoming seasons, “I have no doubt that we will make CIF, maybe even state finals.”
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