New Shoes, More Experience

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New Shoes, More Experience

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     Six Morse students raced last week, Oct. 12, in their first cross country meet – a culminate of months of training- of the season, held at Morley Field, Balboa Park.

     Although the cross country team lacks members, they make up for it in motivation. The team consisted of mostly seniors last year, which is why there are fewer members now as there were last year.

     “We have always had a small team,” said Manuel Martinez, junior and team member since 2015, “but that has never really stopped us before.”

     There was a race scheduled previously in the week, though it was cancelled due to the unavailability of racers with required physicals. When it was time for the race, though, many team members felt very prepared, including the coach.

     “Coach feels very auspicious about our upcoming meet,” said Diego Estrada, junior and cross country captain.

     The team coach, Amaya Ford, has put a lot of her time into the team as well. Occasionally she attends after school practice, while mostly meeting up with the team on saturdays at Martin Luther King Jr. Park to further instruct and prepare them.

     Many methods are used by the team, the 1815 workout especially, to push them towards improving at a quick pace. When conducting the 1815, the team runs for 18 minutes at a normal, steady pace anywhere desired. The workout really kicks it when they exert themselves to get back to the starting point within 15 minutes.

     “It’s really good for stamina,” claimed Estrada, “because you have to get back at the same time as everyone else.”

     Although running is not typically described as a fun thing to do by most high schoolers, the team members emphasized the benefits of being in cross country. It was discussed as an outlet of pain, a way to clear one’s head, a study tool for school, and evidently, an easy way to stay in shape. A common goal is what motivates the team, as well.

     The upcoming race held a lot of pressure, being that there was no way to know who their opponents would be, as well as the expectations looked for. Fortunately, the team steadily prepared for the worst, while hoping for the best.

     “I think I’m gonna do well. I feel faster than I did last year,” said Martinez. “I have new shoes this year, and more experience.”

     Martinez ran 3 miles, in 24:15, his second best time.

     After the race, Ja’Laun Smith, a member and senior, expressed that it was harder than he thought, though he ran 3.2 miles in 22 minutes.

     “I came really close to stopping,” Smith said, “but I kept going.”

     The only female member, and co-captain of the team also participated in Thursday’s race.

     “I was trying to keep myself at a constant pace,” Marrero said, “ but at the same time thinking of the people in front – keeping up with them – or if I’m going too fast. There were just a lot of things going in my head as I was running.”

     The score is not yet known for the race, but either way, the team will continue to work hard and push themselves, for the upcoming meets.