Gables Varsity Cross Country Team Sprints to Victory


Abigail Felan and Lea Bergeot

Cavalier varsity girls and boys cross country teams place first team at their meet in Ives Estates Park.

Maria Odio, Staff Writer

Coral Gables Senior High is the home of a reputable cross country team that just two years ago went all the way to the Florida State Championships. This cross country season, the varsity team sprinted to victory at their first meet of the year, which took place on Sept. 22 at Ives Estates Park, hosted by Michael Krop Senior High School.

In preparation for this meet, the team began their training around the end of summer. The typical training regimen involved running up and down the stairs in the 9000 building, a 2-mile sprint and light jogs to cool down.

The Gables varsity girls team managed to arrive at Ives Estate Park just in time before the heavy rain started. (Abigail Felan)

Unlike in track and field, cross country runners have to compete in uneven terrains without any prior knowledge as to what the geographical features of the courses they will compete on are. Cavaliers for this by meeting on Sunday mornings at different parks to get accustomed to various environments. One week they would go to Kennedy Park, and the next they would be at Tropical Park, and then the cycle would repeat.

Before the meet began, the teams focused on warming up to get their blood flowing and getting into their competitive spirits. The varsity cross country teams competed in a five-kilometer race against opposing Miami-Dade schools, such as Palmetto Senior High School and Ronald Reagan High School.

The Gables cross country varsity teams have been training since Aug. 2 at school and at different parks. Their training was put to the test on Sept. 22 when they competed against other Miami Dade schools and Florida’s rainy weather. (Abigail Felan)

Before the meet started, the rain began, creating new obstacles that could potentially cause the Gables girls team to trip or slide. However, these conditions did not affect the meet as it was still held.

At this meet, the girls would be running first in the rain. Out of the 89 girls from various schools competing, two Cavaliers placed in the top ten. Isabella Morales came in fourth with a time of 23 minutes and 34 seconds, and in first place was Gables’ very own Catalina Quinteros with a time of 21 minutes and 55 seconds. As a result, the female Cavaliers placed first out of seven schools with a total time of 2 hours and 2 seconds.

“The meet went pretty well for being our first of the season. We were all kind of confused because the weather was changing up every half hour — we can’t race if there is thunder or lightning. The weather ended up never clearing and we ended up running in the rain which was pretty enjoyable and refreshing,” senior Cristina Abello said.

After running 5 kilometers through wet soil, the varsity boys team managed to place first with a 3 minute difference separating them from second place. (Abigail Felan)

As soon as the girls’ race had reached its conclusion, the boys were led to a pavilion at Ives Estates Park by the meets coordinator. After some time, they were instructed to get into a line and the race commenced. In the top ten were Anthony Roles-Fotso in tenth, Patrick Couto in sixth with a time of 20 minutes and 44 seconds and junior Marcos Algeciras placed third with a time of 20 minutes and 21 seconds. Similar to the varsity girls team, the boys earned first place with a total time of 1 hour, 46 minutes and 12 seconds.

“The meet went well, it was the first meet, so I was a little nervous but happy to beat my personal record, especially on a course that is generally ‘harder’… We were all happy with our results in the end; before and after the race, but especially after, since the vibes were high in the bus,” senior Patrick Couto said.

Until their next meet on Sept. 24 at the Larry and Penny Thompson Memorial Park, the Gables cross country team will keep training to make sure they are ready for what the Florida weather and terrain has in store for them. For more information visit their Instagram page (@gablesxc).