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The student news site of Coral Gables Senior High School

CavsConnect

The student news site of Coral Gables Senior High School

CavsConnect

Gables Cross Country Runs at Lightning Speed

Despite narrow turns and the uneven terrain, Gables places first in both the girls and boys categories.
The+girls+take+a+picture+before+the+start+of+their+race.+Captain+Catalina+Quinteros+motivated+the+girls+with+a+few+words%2C+which+raised+their+moods.
Coach Nelson
The girls take a picture before the start of their race. Captain Catalina Quinteros motivated the girls with a few words, which raised their moods.

Pushing themselves past the heat, the Coral Gables Senior High School cross country team anticipated a course that was unfamiliar to most of the runners with the exception of some juniors and seniors. Held on Oct. 3, the Lightning Invites 3 Series was organized by Dr. Michael M. Krop Senior High School and took place at Ives Estates Park.

Leaving school at 12:30 p.m., Gables displayed their matching red shirts throughout the day. They arrived at the course at around 1 p.m. At the park, the runners set up their tents and waited for the race to start by watching movies, doing homework, playing games and taking naps.

“Before the race, I was a bit nervous but ready because of the coaches, but during the race, I was focused on running and getting a good time. The competition was a lot of fun, and I am glad I was able to run with the team,” freshman Lucas Buch said.

The boys team tries to fit in one photo before beginning their race. Each varsity and junior varsity member was dedicated to running a personal record. (Coach Nelson)

Girls varsity warmed up on the course before the 5 kilometer race which started at 3 p.m. They ran a small portion of the course to get adjusted to the turns and then performed their dynamic exercises. In a rush, the team finished the warmup quickly to get to the starting line.

There were eight girls representing Gables amidst the 177 girls racing against them at the meet. Many teams were from the northern part of Miami-Dade County. Head cross country coach Scott Nelson provided the girls with some inspirational words before they circled up, anxious for the race to start.

“I wasn’t sure how the meet would go since the course didn’t look too great during the warmup, I just told myself to keep pushing, don’t slow down and catch up to whoever was in front of me during the race,” sophomore Lauren Puig said.

In the end, the girls varsity team placed first. They were led by sophomore Avril Donner who achieved second place with a time of 21:48.3. She was followed by Sharon Contreras in sixth place and Catalina Quinteros right behind her in seventh place.

The course was full of small dips and sharp turns. It consisted of three laps around the park, and the terrain was a mixture of concrete and grass. For Gables, the course was challenging because of the uneven terrain which might have provoked injuries.

Sophomores Sharon Contreras (left) and Avril Donner (right) smile with their medals. This was Contreras’s first high school cross country medal. (Coach Nelson)

“I did not like the course. It was really hilly and really hot and compared to Larry and Penny where we usually run under shade. It was different than what we were used to. It made me nervous and worried that the course was going to be really bad, but when I started running it, all went away,” sophomore Jason Norona said.

While the girls ran, the boys cheered them on and warmed up for their 5k race, which commenced at 4 p.m. The boys also shared a brief talk with Coach Nelson before the race started.

In this race, varsity and junior varsity boys ran simultaneously. As the gun cracked, the 18 boys with ‘Coral Gables’ on their red tees zoomed into the front pack while the girls erupted into cheers as each them they passed.

The boys team also placed first with their top runners finishing in second, third, fourth, fifth and sixth. Sophomore Jason Norona led the way with a time of 17.43.4, followed by Anthony Roles Fotso, Linus Boettcher, Luis Rodriguez and Reese Durand-Hernandez.

“This race helped us strengthen our mentality and helped us prepare for the next races with courses that are similar to the previous course but with more intensity and competition. The team is very dedicated to meeting out goals and pushing us to find the best versions of ourselves,” senior Catalina Quinteros said.

This meet is just one small step in Gables’ path to districts and eventually the state championship. On their remaining schedule, Gables cross country travel to Larry and Penny Thompson Park for the Greater Miami Athletic Conference meet on Oct. 13. In each race, Coach Nelson will narrow down the top seven runners that will be representing Gables during regional and state competition.

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About the Contributor
Yara Korse, CavsConnect Staff Writer
Yara Korse is trying her best to cruise through her second year of high school in the International Baccalaureate program. Even with all the activities she does in school, she still finds a way to keep up her 4.0 Grade Point Average. She is part of the cross country, track and field and tennis team. She is part of a few clubs in school including the International Baccalaureate Honor Society and Gables Wellness. Her solution to getting through high school is to listen to music whenever she can. She also loves to read fiction books; her favorite book series is "Percy Jackson". She wants to leave Florida when she gets out of high school and live in the Netherlands at one point in her life. When she is not drowning in the large amount of work that her amazing school gives to her, she is doing puzzles or annoying her little brother.
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