Cross Country: More than a run

RUNNERS, ON YOUR MARKS!!! BANG!!! AND THEY’RE OFF!!! Yahir Rodriguez, 12,  and Marcos Aparicio, 9,  explain their experiences in Cross County and the meaning of this sport.

Aparicio was inspired by his brother Giovani Aparicio, who was in the Cross Country team in the past. This inspired him to join the team. 

On the left with Mr Mills (Athletic Director), Marcos Aparicio (9th grade) was athlete of the week for beating the freshman school record and placed 14 out of 169 runners at the Cool Breeze Invitational, Rose Bowl. (Photo: John Hinkleman)

“My brother ran for this Cross Country team and he always told me about his achievements, personal best times, and his experiences. After hearing that, I felt like I can do this so let’s give it a try,” said Aparicio.

Cross Country taught him that this sport is tough and requires teamwork. When you’re running a race, it’s not just yourself, your legs, or lungs – it’s the supporting bond between your teammates. 

“Every race, my teammates are always supporting me and supporting each other during practices, to heading to a race, to running a race. They’re my motivation and also my family too throughout the season. I’m very glad that I met them this year,” said Aparicio.

Aparicio loves the workouts that the coaches provide, such as mile repeats, long runs, and even the drills before the runs.

“These workouts are lightwork but they’re really fun. No matter how long we run, we run to areas that we don’t even see in our lives. These workouts are sometimes challenging but it’s just all about mind over matter,” said Aparicio.

Aparicio is still running today. As a freshman, he made the boys’ varsity team with six medals from the invitational races, was athlete of the week, and had his personal best of 17:36 for a 3-mile. He competed for CIF (California Interscholastic Federation) at Mtn. Sac.

Yahir Rodriguez is a senior and the team captain of the Cross Country team. He’s been on the team for four years and has a lot of experience. However, he felt something about the team this season.

Yahir Rodriguez (12 grade) was athlete of the week for his performance when he placed fourth at MVL Meet #2, Blair Park. He also had an excellent performance and personal time at Mtn. Sac Invitational. (Photo: John Hinkleman)

“We have a very funny, energetic, young, and awesome team, but I have noticed that this year’s team is very young. We have more freshmen and sophomores this season. We are young, but we are very fast learners, runners, and very motivated to each other,” said Rodriguez. 

Being on the team has taught him some lessons not just for running, but for his future. 

“Cross Country isn’t just a running sport, it’s a life lesson sport. It taught me to be responsible, mind over matter, and pain is temporary,” said Rodriguez.

Rodriguez is first-team all league for the Mountain Valley League. He was the athlete of the week from his performance in the 2nd Mountain Valley League at Blair Park.  Before he finished his senior year, he competed with the Varsity Boys Team to the CIF Finals at Mtn. Sac, “Where the World’s Best Athletes Compete.” He had a great and strong last season.

They both define Cross Country in 3 words, “Pain and Glory.”

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