The student news site of Coral Gables Senior High School


The student news site of Coral Gables Senior High School


The student news site of Coral Gables Senior High School


Cool Runnings: The Cavaliers Zoom Past the Spanish River Invitational

Eliminating seconds from their personal records, Gables runners impressed in Boca Raton.
Lucia Ruiz
Multiple Cavalier runners attained personal records at the annual Spanish River Invitational.

The crack of daylight welcomed runners from the state of Florida to the 41st annual Spanish River Invitational. Waking up extra early, the Coral Gables Senior High cross country team explored the immaculate course inside South County Regional Park before racing on Sept. 23.

“We wore spikes for Spanish River for a better grip of the course. They were lighter and more agile…also recommended for comfort. To break them in we ran a couple of miles on the track,” junior Reese Durand Hernandez said.

Departing school at 5:00 a.m., the cross country team sported red t-shirts and black sweatpants to showcase their Gables pride. As sun rays emerged, boys varsity members accustomed themselves to the mild and grassy conditions of the course while pinpointing the start and finish lines. The girls varsity team patiently waited for half an hour, braiding each other’s hair before it was time to warm up.

Huddling up for prayer, the boys varsity team raced first at 7:40 a.m. They ran alongside 347 other competitors from high schools in the 3a and 4a classification.

Sophomore Luis Rodriguez maintains the pace for a 17 minute 5k. A few boys varsity runners wore Nike spikes to run the course quicker. (Lucia Ruiz)

“To be honest, I was focused and wasn’t trying to think about the meet too much or else that would make me nervous. I was little excited for the meet because its one of the best trails we run throughout the season,” junior Santiago Gonzalez said.

The race was fast-paced but Gables embraced the challenge. Darting around two loops of a dense forest and overcoming a steep hill, every varsity boy ran 5 kilometers in under 20 minutes. The notable leaders were sophomore Jason Norona and senior Anthony Roles Fotso, finishing in under 17 minutes.

Sophomore Sharon Contreras (left) paces with her Gables teammate, senior Catalina Quinteros. Contreras placed second and Quinteros placed third for Gables in the varsity girls race. (Lucia Ruiz)

“I was so happy [with my time] because I crossed the line and I saw 16:59 on the board. It was probably my best opportunity of the season to go under 17 minutes. I was praying, praying and praying, and I reached my goal by a quarter of a second,” captain Anthony Roles Fotso said.

The first varsity girl to cross the line for Gables was sophomore Avril Donner with a time of 20:41.07. Eventually, sophomore Sharon Contreras and senior Catalina Quinteros sprinted behind her, trailed by the rest of the nine Cavaliers.

“Spanish River is one of the best courses we get to run on, as it’s easier mentally and physically to complete than other courses. There is a good amount of shade, soft grass, wide turns and paths, and many points where you can see your supporters and be cheered on,” sophomore Avril Donner said.

The JV boys started quickly to get ahead of the pack. Gables was ecstatic since they would be facing tough competition at Spanish River. (Lucia Ruiz)

Last but not least, the junior varsity boys represented Gables well. Each Cavalier raced against other runners trying to join their varsity squads.

The sun had risen and the weather was slightly warmer than the previous races. Sophomore Maxence Montigny led the way with a time of 20:08.49, trailed closely by freshman Lucas Buch sophomore Adrian Perez, just 20 to 30 seconds behind. The junior boys varsity times were relatively close to varsity.

Gables scored highly in each race. Catching some Z’s on the way back to school and recaptured their best and worst moments in the race with teammates and coaches.

The next race is on Sept 29. at Larry and Penny Thompson Park.

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About the Contributor
Andres Rodriguez, CavsConnect Sports Editor

Andres Rodriguez is a junior and retains the title of CavsConnect Sports Editor. Studying in the International Baccalaureate program, Andres is looking forward to this year for many reasons. He runs for the boys cross country team and is focused on breaking 19 minutes and 15 seconds for a five kilometer race. His Catholic faith, family and teammates are what drives him in his races or casual runs whenever he has time. On campus, Andres is also part of the International Baccalaureate Honor Society and the National Spanish Honor Society boards. As far as extracurricular events, Andres hopes to attend pep rallies and possibly Homecoming. The IB classes and assessments will be time consuming but Andres still intends to hangout with friends, volunteer at mass and take his dog, Max, on more walks. Some skills Andres wants to refine are driving and cooking. Finally, Andres continues to embody this Bible verse, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” -Philippians 4:13. 

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