Runners reach the finish line of another memorable year

Jennifer Garcia
AT Journalism Student

The AT cross country for both boys and girls is nearly coming to an end with each squad planning their last few meets and wrapping up their season.

The girls team had an amazing season with 29 new team members and almost all of them being freshman. The season for the girls team consists of dual meets, invitationals and then ends with the state series.

In order for the girls to begin training for their last few meets in the season they have to start lowering the amount of how long they train for.

According to Coach Olson, they have to start peaking and tapering for them to be ready, strong, and prepared.

The girls cross country team had a pretty good season this year.  Their most successful part of it was the duals they had and their 5 in 1 record they now have in their conference season.  

“That’s the best record I have had in 20 years of coaching. I am immensely proud of their effort and success,” said Kirsten Olson, head coach of the cross country team for girls.

The girls set 23 personal records at the West Suburban Conference Meet Oct. 16 which is the last meet that athletes at all levels run.  The girls team had 5 All-Conference athletes with Sandra Olascoaga placing 13th in the Freshman race, Monserat Abarca and Gia Garza placing 7th and 9th in the Sophomore race.  Ximena Juarez and Madelyn Ford were also All-Conference medalists placing 13th and 14th overall in the Varsity Girls race.  The boys had two all conference athletes with Josh Gutierrez placing 8th at the Sophomore level and Alex Hernandez earning an All-Conference medal placing 10th overall in the Varsity Boys race.

With this year’s 2021 cross country season coming to an end many girls are proud that they were a part of the team this year. “In terms of getting a senior year for cross country this is despite covid one of the best seasons I could have ever had,” said Ford.
The cross country season for the boys this year was different because they didn’t attract as many new teammates to join, in other words there was a decline of how many people joined.

Although the boys team didn’t get as many new team members as they hoped for, they were still successful. “They are energetic and bring high hopes for the team,” said Alexander Martinez. The team’s progress for the boys is good; their most successful meet so far was the Bartlett “Flyin’ Hawk” meet and they have also had a couple dual victories.

“At this point we need to put our next effort forward because you never know when that last race will be,” said Brad Donaldson, head coach of the boys cross country team.

The boys also start preparing for the end of the season by doing mostly the same as the girls, they try to run for a shorter distance than usual and then they try to run at a faster pace at a shorter distance.

They both end with the West Suburban conference meet followed by the IHSA state series. They had their conference last week and they have Regionals tomorrow.

The seniors on both cross country teams wanted to start a new tradition and had their first Senior night they hadn’t had in a while at the course.  

“It turned out really well. It was really nice having everybody there and recognized everyone, celebrated and shared the memories we made,” said Ford. “It was really fun,” added Martinez.
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