‘This is for us’


Kara Barragan, Sports Editor

It was the summer of 2019: around seven a.m., junior and captain of the cross country varsity girls, Sequoia Kriss drove leisurely in her parents’ bluish-grey Toyota Corolla, bumping ‘Nights’ by artist, Frank Ocean. Sophomore and cross country runner, Lauren Salt sat in the passenger seat, reciting lines along with S. Kriss, making their way to their summer training for cross country at Rohr Park. The beat switch of the track began to approach with heavy synthesizers: Kriss turned up the bass and rolled down the windows while Salt turned it up to full volume almost in sync. The sun blistered through and the two danced to the rhythms while passing by the array of towering trees, soon approaching the parking lot of Rohr Park.

This was just any other ordinary day for S. Kriss and L. Salt over the summer, with training taking place daily. The two were never just done running after their practice finished, they always went out for further outings which have boosted the chemistry of their friendship, leading to the two declared as the top two runners of the varsity girls cross country team. 

At the very beginning of this duo team, the two held back from motivating each other. As time went on, the two became more comfortable with critiquing their speeds and picking up their pace. 

These runs aren’t only just surrounded by the sound of the swaying trees or shoes hitting the track, but the air is filled with conversations about life or even unexpected “silly” things that arise, as said by S. Kriss, which has also contributed to the forming bond and motivating of the two. 

“We have those days where the whole run is us talking; it’s more of a jog. We’d be talking about life or something really stupid that we just want to talk about. Other days, we push each other to go really hard and at a faster pace,” L. Salt said. 

As time progressed, both L. Salt and S. Kriss have set new PR’s. For the 46th Annual Dana Hills Nike Invitational, S. Kriss set a PR for 3 miles with a time of 19:16.0, improving 2:23.7 less than her freshman year performance, placing 60th overall. For this race being L. Salt’s first Dana Hills invitational, her PR was set with a time of 18:46.1, placing 10th overall.

“I push myself harder now [more] than ever and that’s definitely because of[L. Salt]; we’re the perfect match for pushing each other. I’ve definitely seen my mind [change] about going to practice and wanting to get better has totally changed,” S. Kriss said. 

One major take away from the two meeting each other an running together has been a boost in confidence. When first joining the 2018 season, L. Salt stuck alongside her brother and BVH alumni, Christian Salt. November soon came around and the team raced against Mater Dei Catholic high along the shorelines of Imperial Beach for 2.5 miles. L. Salt placed 2nd overall with a time of 16:03.0, with S. Kriss slightly behind placing 5th overall at 16:30.0. Afterward, S. Kriss asked L. Salt to take a photo with her and their friendship soon arose from that moment.

“I have definitely seen improvement in myself. Especially, since I was in soccer last year, I would only go to cross country like twice a week,” L. Salt said. “I think that when I met [S. Kriss] I’ve always looked forward to going to practice because now I have someone that I can always talk to and practice is 10 times more fun now.”

Along with running, the two bond over music, creating playlists for each other mainly consisting of artists Tyler the Creator and Frank Ocean. S. Kriss found there were two particular lines the two relish from the song “911/Mr. Lonely” by Tyler the Creator: “Call me sometime,” S. Kriss and L. Salt quote, holding up a phone with their hands, swaying to the beat: “…without you shotgun in the passenger seat”. 

“Every morning, we’re always listening to music, or even on our runs, we sometimes take out our phones and play music. Music has definitely bonded us socially; that’s really important,” S. Kriss said.

Times can often take a turn, most significantly with one race in particular; the Mt. Carmel/Asics Cross Country invite. Both S. Kriss and L. Salt displayed great progress in their efforts, but an unfortunate mishappening of L. Salt being disqualified for ‘not following the proper course’, as stated by S. Kriss’ mother, Carla Kriss, took place. 

After the race, C. Kriss explained how S. Kriss had felt bad afterwards for L. Salt, since she didn’t get to receive her medal.

“Running is an activity that you need to have camaraderie and someone to run alongside. You don’t want to get bored or feel defeated,” C. Kriss said.

As the top two runners of the girl’s varsity team, L. Salt and S. Kriss see each other going places and running on the right path to their future. 

“I’d never thought I’d get this close with anybody and I’m really happy because it has made my high school experience so much better,” S. Kriss said, while L. Salt smiled and added, “Yeah, so many more memories.”