In 2021, these cross country athletes were able to complete a full season of running even during a pandemic. Of course. there was a little bit of tweaking from a normal season. They had two meets in total and they completed these meets at Cabrillo High School.
As I met up with a few runners, Mallory Branum and Lauren Jansen, they were very excited to share some of their experiences with this year’s complicated season.. Lauren said, “ Both of my coaches [Casey Brooks and Samuel Milhous] were very motivating. They helped push me to my full potential but also always made me feel good about myself.”
According to Lauren, a practice day consisted of doing a warm up run, stretching, and other warm ups. After that, they do a main run. Some days, they do speed workouts on the track or run around town doing anything between 4-9 miles. They would have to wear a mask at all times (except when they are running) and maintain a 6 feet distance.
Mallory and Andres had the fastest times in the meets. Clearly, their discipline in practice was effective in reaching their goals. Mallory had 22:32 and Andres had 17:02. Mallory told me during our interview, ¨When I do well, I feel hyped up and very accomplished. I’ve been in XC (cross country) since freshman year, I am now a Junior. I feel special participating during a pandemic because not everyone gets to experience something like this in their life. Although there are setbacks during a pandemic … I am very excited for this season.¨
Though i’m a student athlete myself, I didn’t really know much about cross country before talking to some of the players. Getting to interview them on something they do was overall very exciting. If I learned anything these past couple weeks is, these students love to run!