XC Takes on State Championships 2017

On Friday, Nov. 3, the Coral Gables’ cross-country team took on the Regional Championships and obtained amazing results. This year, the meet took place at Tradewinds Park, which was a new course for the cross-country team members, as opposed to the traditional Larry & Penny Thompson course the Gables’ runners compete on most of the season. The girls’ team got 5th place and advanced to the State Championships as a team. Meanwhile, the boys’ team got 7th place with a combined score of 143. Senior Cavan Wilson led the way for the Coral Gables’ boys team, obtaining 4th place overall and advancing to the State meet individually.

The State Championships took place on Nov. 10, and the athletes traveled to Tallahassee the morning before along with Coach Nelson. Representing Gables at this meet were seniors Abigail Flores, Paula Gonzalez, Jesse Kluck, Sofia Viglucci and Cavan Wilson along with junior Natalia Rodriguez and freshman Karina Leon. This meet was potentially the hardest one of the season where, most of the best 5k runners in the state would be toeing the line.

“Going to states was really fun and exciting. It was so cool to go as a team and be a part of this big competition and see everyone competing. I felt really good about making it to States because it meant that we were good enough to compete at such a high level,” freshman Karina Leon said.

Gables’ girls team starting the 5k race.

The eight athletes had great performances at the Regional meet and continued their success at the State Championships. The Gables’ cross-country team arrived at Tallahassee on Friday around 4 pm after an 8-hour ride. Upon arrival, Coach Nelson attended a coaches meeting while the team got to do a practice run on the course they would be competing on the next day. The team also had a chance to buy some souvenirs to keep as a memory of the trip. On Friday night, the team arrived at the hotel and got ready for the race, while enjoying the trip with their teammates among jokes and laughter.

“I am really happy that we were able to go to the State Championships and also proud of how our team has performed during the season. I believe it was a great and valuable experience for all of us,” senior Jesse Kluck said.

Cavan Wilson receiving his award for being one of the Top 10 runners.

On Saturday, the team woke up at 5 am to get breakfast and go to Apalachee Regional Park. The girls’ Class 4A race took place at 9:30 am and the boys’ 4A Class race was around 10 am. In the end, Cavan Wilson placed 9th overall with a time of 15:57.52. For the girls’ team, most of them set their personal record times at this meet and they finished with a 22:44 team average, their best all season, and only had a 1 minute and 11 second difference between their scoring runners. The team was really happy for their success yet disappointed as well as this meet concluded the season and it was the last cross-country meet for the six senior members of the team.

“It was surprising when we were announced 5th place at Regionals. We did not think we had performed as well as we normally do, but it felt good to know that our effort and hard training paid off at the end. I had a lot of fun at States and running with my teammates through the season,” senior Abigail Flores said.

Overall, it was a great end to a successful cross-country season. The team is ready to continue training with the same motivation with the goal of making it to the State Championships next fall.