Girls cross country’s large roster acts as familial unit

Natalia Habas, Sectional Editor

Girls cross country kicked off its season at the Harvest Christian Invitational on Sept. 1. Due to weather conditions, the race was stopped after running the first mile. Athletes were put back on buses and the race was resumed about an hour later.

“It was a lot of people’s first bigger invitation so getting off, on the bus, off the bus, a lot of people were falling because of how wet it was, and we’re still able to do our best, which is really cool to see,” head coach Mark Heintz said.

The teams had to re- race after the weather cleared up. They also combined both teams, JV and Varsity, for the second race.

“Although these circumstances could have changed our mindset, we stayed determined, positive and focused, and that helped us win this race,” senior Gabriella Mauro said.

Heintz said this year’s team is the biggest in school history.

“So with that, it’s kind of cool to see the kids forming bonds with each other, as opposed to me being the coach to kind of be the central point.” says Heintz. “They’re doing it for each other. It’s because of their care for their teammates.”

Monica Casillas, a senior, held a team bonding session on Sept. 10 as a way to bring the team together.

“Especially in a team thats so big like ours, we have 65 girls, so team bonding is crucial because when you’re in practice we often split up into smaller groups,” Casillas said. “At team bonding, we got to know each other better which I thought really helped especially for the meet that came right after the team bonding.”

Casillas said that when athletes feel closer to each other, they are more willing to cheer each other on.

“We’re all running a hard race, so having each other’s backs and being a family has definitely helped us stay together during races and improve our overall performances,” Mauro said in agreement.

The team’s next meet is Oct. 13 at Melas Park.