With the fall sports’ seasons reaching their conclusions, the Cavalier Cross Country team is preparing to go into hibernation for the Coral Gables Cavaliers. The Cavalier Cross Country runners have had a very tough season, running in heat indexes of up to 105 degrees at almost every meet. With the season ending, many are going to miss the unforgettable personal records, and they will eternally remember crossing the finish line after those extensive three miles.
“I love to run cross country with my team, so I am a little sad about the season ending. I am going to miss the thrill that comes with crossing the finish line and I am especially going to miss all the seniors that are graduating this year,” junior Karina Leon said.
The team got off to a bit of a rocky start, running their first meet at Tropical Park. The meet was dubbed “King of the Hill,” since runners had to run up a relatively steep hill, making this course especially challenging. Unfortunately, the boys’ varsity team did not have enough players to qualify. However the team’s top runner, Colin Wilson, won fifth overall with a final time of 17:32. It was just as challenging for the girls’ team, scoring a team best 26:01 from junior Karina Leon. The Lady Cavaliers ended up placing 18th overall at the meet.
After gaining some more experience and training harder, these athletes turned the season around. At the Junior Orange Bowl, the boys’ varsity team placed 9th overall. Senior Colin Wilson received a 3rd place medal with a time of 16:52. The girl’s varsity team had an eighth place medalist in Karina Leon, running a marvelous time of 23:42. The Cavaliers then stood at 6th place overall, improving vastly from their first meet by 12 places.
“This is my last year running cross country and I am very sad that it is coming to an end. I am going to miss the feeling of being a part of the team and the bonds that come along with it. The thing I am going to miss the most is how much we motivated each other to be the best that we can be,” senior Ayelen Escuarido said.
On Oct. 24, the cross country team ran their most important race yet, the district meet. This district-wide competition determined whether or not the Cavaliers would advance to the regional cross country competition.
With all of the countless hours they have spent after school running and building up their stamina, the Cavaliers qualified to advance to the regional cross country meet. The boys’ team finished in fourth place overall with their top runner, Colin Wilson, logging a time of 16:32. The girls’ team came in eighth overall with their top runner, Karina Leon, finishing the race in 22:46.
Overall, the Cavalier Cross Country team had a great season, advancing all the way to the regional level. Although the Cavaliers are still on their journey of accomplishing their goal of advancing to the state cross country competition, they are working overtime in this new super-district. Essentially, the district level of competition for Miami-Dade now includes the northern and southern teams, adding fuel to the fire.
Regardless of what comes their way, the Cavs are still filled with determination to advance to the state cross country contest and refuse to run out of gas. These elite runners look to zoom past the competition, beating as many runners as possible on Oct. 30 at Larry and Penny Park during their regional cross country competition.