Maverick Girls' Cross Country is lining up again to ride a wave of success.
“Why am I doing this?” asked Captain Catherine Sullivan ’13. “I feel like I’m on the brink of death after 5:30 a.m. workouts.”
Back for her last of four high school seasons, Sullivan and fellow captains Martha Daniel ’13, and Kristen Santiago ’14 rip through trails at Memorial Park two days a week to affirm the answer one more time as they try to stay relaxed and not let the discomfort of trail running cause a wipe out.
“When I ran alone this summer I had trouble waking up,” said Daniel. “In-season, there are 26 girls in the park waiting for you. Knowing that you’re not doing it for yourself, but for your team is what it is all about. In cross country it’s almost impossible for everyone to be on during the same workout. I find joy in the fact that even if I’m not up to par, a teammate can have a great day.”
“It is difficult and demanding, but together we make it worthwhile,” said Santiago.
The 2012 team has a record number of 27 runners, 13 of which are freshmen. The group runs at race pace during practice.
“They’re a competitive bunch,” said Sullivan.
“In the time trial on August 25th the freshman stepped up and proved they could stay with us,” said Daniel.
In their most recent meet the ten-runner Varsity Gold team won the 5k race at the San Jacinto Battleground Invitational on September 7th finishing with 46 points. The top five runners for the Mavericks were: Santiago, Olivia Havel '16, Margaret Trautner '16, Molly Vitek '14 and Elise Viguet '14.
“Now that we know they can run, our biggest concern was how to make the team a close-knit group with so many new faces,” said Santiago.
St. John’s Girls’ Cross Country began team–building early this year. At the pre-season retreat on the campus of the Pepperdine University Waves
in Malibu, California, they spent seven days in the sun, running up and down the hills of Malibu, around the Pepperdine track, and through the neighborhood of Beverly Hills. In between workouts they took Pacific “ice baths,” played beach volleyball, and donned wet suits for surfing lessons. They toured UCLA, the John Wooden Center
and found themselves on location where the television series M.A.S.H. was filmed. Each runner was given a plastic spirit animal to remind them to free it up during the tough workouts, and the team adopted the shaka or “hang loose” hand gesture, which symbolizes a connection of differing groups.
The Mavericks aim to finish the season as a tight-knit set in a relaxed frame of mind. Look for them at SPC, peaking together and riding the perfect wave to the finish line.
Sam Chambers -Athletic News