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Welcome to Cross Country

Bertrand Edwards

One of the more popular Culver City High School sports among students new and returning is cross country, a fall season sport that competes in long distance running. These athletes run approximately 5 kilometers in their races and up to 30 miles per week in preparation for their meets. The CCHS cross country (XC) team draws students of all experiences and running backgrounds, helping everyone to achieve their physical and personal goals in the sport. And while the coaches aim to develop students’ running abilities, Head Coach Tom Fritzius also said, “cross country is more than running.” The sport is also focused on helping students learn important values like hard work and realistic goal-setting, which they can apply to other parts of their lives. 

“Cross country is a race against yourself, trying to beat your personal best,” senior Xavier Vegas said, who is one of six team captains. “The team is fun to hang out with and the trips we go on during the season and off-season bring me back every year.”

Another captain, junior Momoka Miyashiro, said: “The running makes me feel accomplished and it’s therapeutic; when I run I’m able to focus on one goal and it helps me clear my mind for the day.” 

The CCHS XC team has around eight or nine meets per season, which usually take place on Saturdays. Since the team is also in the Bay League, they compete in two league competitions as well including the Bay League Final, where the top three out of five teams advance to the CIF Prelims. The team has participated in many of the most prestigious XC meets this season including Woodbridge Invitational, Clovis Invitational, and Mt. Sac Invitational, giving students opportunities to compete at a high level. The team trains everyday to gear up for these meets, but their preparation begins before the season even starts.

For anybody trying to join the cross country team, it is essential to be a part of the summer training program. Every day during the summer, the team goes for daily runs to keep their form for the next year. The program is not limited to just the students; graduates and parents are allowed to run with the team and be a part of the summer program. Training is in the mornings and evenings, allowing for more flexible schedules. Many students have other commitments or are busy with new classes at the start of the season, and sometimes are not able to attend training. The summer program is useful to not backtrack in progress. Even if you don’t want to join the cross country team for the fall season, the summer program can help you stay in shape during the off-season for another sport. 

Coach Fritzius elaborated more on his statement and said, “Our focus is developing athletes academically, physically, and socially.” He also emphasizes that to be a great teammate is simple: put in the effort for the results you want.

Students get to socialize with new welcoming faces, and help students get out of the regular circles they might be accustomed to. Leo Marcus, a sophomore on the team, said: “Cross country is very useful, as it helps me stay in shape, while at the same time being part of a great team and competing to push myself to the next level. I would definitely recommend others do cross country.” 

The cross country team has also fostered athletes such as Coach Anniya Louis. When she was attending Culver City High School, she was the state champion in track, and her success is largely credited to the cross country team. 

Cross country is an opportunity not only to stay in shape, but an opportunity for athletes to build solidarity and prepare them for the future. No tryouts are required; the coaches just emphasize to students that the effort they put in reflects on their performance. The CCHS XC team’s last meet of the year will be Thursday, Nov. 2, where the varsity boys and girls teams will have a chance to qualify for CIF Prelims.

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About the Contributors
Matthew Gonzalez, Staff Writer
Bertrand Edwards
Bertrand Edwards, Staff Photographer
Hi, I'm Bert and this is my senior year at CCHS. This is my first year as a photographer for The Centaurian. Outside of the Journalism club, I write for the Culver Chronicle and take photos for the yearbook. My interests include photography, as well as history, astrophysics, antiquing and baking.

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