A Rundown of the Cavalier Cross Country Team

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Sofia Felan

The boys varsity cross country team doing their cool-down jog on the Coral Gables Senior High track.

Ava Cosgrove, Staff Writer

Heading into the new year, the Cavalier cross country team has gotten a running start by training beginning in early August and practices being held five days a week.

The team is divided into three sections: boys’ varsity, girls’ varsity and junior varsity. For varsity teams, practice usually starts with a mile warmup around the school followed by dynamic stretches, which involve active movement. After they have warmed up, athletes usually run three to four miles every practice.

I would say that the amount of work you put into cross country itself definitely pays off because when you know your capabilities and what you’re able to do, that really resonates with the techniques you personally use,”

— junior Isabella Morales

As for JV, training varies depending on what the coaching staff sees fit. Everyone’s practice ends with a cool-down jog and stretches led by the designated group leaders. On days when the team cannot go outside and run, usually because of weather, they work on strengthening their legs and abdominal muscles on the third floor of the 9000 building through additional indoor exercises.

When it comes to diet, Coach Nelson encourages his team to load up on carbohydrates and fruits, especially bananas, or as he calls them “fruits of the gods.” Other options for fuel that he recommends are apples, peanut butter and pasta about three to four hours before practice. The coaches also advise their runners to avoid fried foods and certain types of seafood before practice, although there are some exceptions to this rule.

The track team welcomes runners of all kinds, no matter their speed. No prior experience is required for those interested in joining. The team offers a type of different type of engagement than Gables’ academics have to offer, and the Cavaliers will be ramping up their training to ready each player for upcoming matches.

“I expected [cross country] to be challenging, and it certainly was, but that it would be a team effort but a good way to bond with other people,” junior Marcela Rondon said.

September 21 will be the team’s first meet of the season, held at Dr. Micheal Krop Senior High School. The 2021 schedule for the rest of the meets can be found on the Gables’ cross country Instagram page (@gablesxc) in the story highlights section.