A sprint to the finish line

A neck and neck race between Barons and Eagles

Bonita Vista Highs (BVH) cross country runner and senior Enrique Aranda won first in the three mile race. During the end of the race he lost his left shoe.

Yealin Lee

Bonita Vista High’s (BVH) cross country runner and senior Enrique Aranda won first in the three mile race. During the end of the race he lost his left shoe.

Yealin Lee, Managing Editor

On Oct. 8, Bonita Vista High’s (BVH) co-ed cross country team competed against the Olympian High team at Olympian High School (OH). There were a total of 4 events at the games, separated between Varsity and Junior Varsity (JV) and between girls and boys. According to Alexis Garcia, it was the first time this season that BVH’s boys varsity cross country team earned first place as a team. Girls ran 2.5 miles and boys ran 3 miles.

The first event called for the boys varsity team, which included senior Enrique Aranda and senior Alexis Garcia. Prior to starting the race the whole varsity boys team did a chant to motivate and uplift spirits. In addition, they also performed warm up exercises for 15 minutes to prepare their bodies to run 3 miles. The course consisted of tracks with different floor textures and hills. 

“We do a chant at the beginning of the starting line at each race we compete in. It keeps us going and gets us motivated to win,” Aranda said.

The event started off in the football fields with parents watching from the bleachers with their phones out to record the race. 

“When I hear my friends and family cheer my name while I run, that motivates me to go faster,” Garcia said.

Once the runners were off, coaches started to sporadically drift off to cheer them on. One could hear them yell, “you’re doing a great job, keep it up,” or “you got this.” According to Garcia and Aranda, having this support system encouraged them to keep going even though their legs felt like they were going to give up.

“[The team are] all very close and intimate. You also have everyone’s support [including] your parents support, and it makes you want to keep going to make [your parents] proud and to make yourself proud,” Aranda said.

When running, Aranda mentioned how he was surprised to see an OH runner keep up with his pace and was impressed by their determination during the race. 

“A huge respect to [OH cross country team], they know to keep pushing, they don’t just let us go. They are like leeches; they just hang on to us the whole way there. They train well, they train to stick with their opponents, so I have huge respect for them,” Aranda said.

A huge respect to [OH cross country team], they know to keep pushing, they don’t just let us go.

— Enrique Aranda

Garcia mentions that when he is running he makes sure to have a positive mindset, and to always have sight of the person in front of him.

“[Having a strong mentality] is probably one of the hardest things of doing cross country. You need to have a strong mentality because when you’re running, you can feel that your body is extremely tired, but you just gotta keep going because there’s someone in front of you. You have to try to keep up with them, and stay with them the whole race,” Garcia said.

Enrique ran with a time of 17 minutes and 12 seconds and accomplished his goal of winning. Garcia was also able to meet his goal he prepared for himself at the start, and did better than what he expected. He came in with a time of 17 minutes and 52 seconds.

“For me personally [this meet] went pretty good. I came in third place, the best position I’ve come in, I’m very proud of the boys,” Garcia said.

Garcia and Aranda both mentioned how there are still some aspects the team could still improve on as a whole. They acknowledged that they did well at this meet, but are ready to continue their training to accomplish their next goal.

“I’m probably gonna focus more on running together as a team, so that our first place runner isn’t too far apart from our fifth place runner. In order to win more meets, we’ll probably focus more on running as a group, and train harder together,” Aranda said.

Furthermore, senior Diandra Jara explains how she paced herself through the race. She started out strong from the beginning and was neck and neck with an OH senior runner for first place. She placed 2nd with a time of 15 minutes and 35 seconds, but wishes she ran faster.

“It was pretty amazing [race]. I just kept going and paced myself. When I hit the first mile I started to kick up the pace. I always follow the girl that’s in front of me and stay with her. Then when it hits the second mile I throw in a big kick. I did really good, but I wish I could have kicked faster,” Jara said.

Before a race like this one, Jara stays on a strict diet and makes sure she is taking care of her body. She follows a routine the night prior to the game to make sure she is in the best condition.

“This week I just hydrated a lot with water, and ate the right foods. [For example,] I ate a lot of pasta [the night before the race] and salads. I had to cut all the sweets out and be careful with what I eat because I’m on a diet,” Jara said.

When she runs she thinks of her parents and her teammates, as well as the love she has for the sport. This encourages her to keep going. Even though she felt like she could have done better, she can’t wait to run the next meet.

“I just love to run, it’s my passion. I love it. I don’t know where I would be without this sport,” Jara said.