Cross Country Athletes Set Goals and Gain Confidence


Cross-country running is a sport in which teams and individuals run races on outdoor courses over natural terrain. The OHS cross country team consists of many very talented athletes. Their first practice was over the summer before school started.

A typical practice consists of running 2 laps for a warm-up and then doing some stretches. After that, they do a long run which is usually a 5-mile run. New team members sometimes do a 2-mile run or maybe 1 until they build up to a longer distance.

There are currently 10 members on the team and one coach. “Cross country is an important sport because it gets athletes ready for the upcoming athletic seasons. It is also important because it gets them physically fit and mentally fit at the same time. I coach because cross country athletes are a special breed of athletes,” said Coach Holsclaw.

The athletes set their season goals early. Some of the athletes do cross country to train for the upcoming track seasons.

“Cross country gets me ready for track, and the 800 is my pride and joy,” said Damani Epps.

“Cross country keeps me competitive with myself and others. I love to drop my time each race,” said Taylor Luskey.

“What keeps me going is first God, I say this because I believe and put my trust in him that I can always improve. I want to be better than anyone else, I have huge ambitions. I want to go to the 2028 Olympics,” added Kenny Giron-Garcia.

“I know I can get better, that’s what helps me want to get better. I know I  can push myself more, so it’s a good mantra to repeat. I also think that if I work hard, I can be a good role model to my team. They will want to work hard as well. I want to set the example that we should all strive to be our best!” said Abi Nguyen (captain).

“Watching the kids set goals and watching kids hit their goals are the best things about coaching. I also like building leaders for the future. Teaching kids to be respectable and to contribute to their community is also important to me,” added Coach Rose.

The team meets are scheduled for September 21 and 24, and October 1 and 6. While the team encourages spectators to come out and show support, they also take pride in supporting each other.

“Being a part of a team is the best aspect of cross country. Supporting each other through hard workouts and cheering each other on at meets makes it all so worth it. The sense of community from our team makes it the most fun I’ve had in high school,” said Abi Nguyen.

“Having other people to run with is the best. Seeing a lot of people better than me helps me,” said rookie athlete Seth Vandivere.