How Much Could a Woodbridge Runner Run if a Woodbridge Runner Could Run


Courtesy of: Landon Larson

Shadow Ridge Cross Country team at Woodbridge CA

Lila Brough, Journalist

On September 16th, the Shadow Ridge Cross Country team left for California to run in one of the biggest races of the season. As schools from all around the country got ready to run, Shadow was already sprinting for the finish line. Both the boy’s and the girl’s varsity team did amazing. The girls placed fourth and the boys placed eighth out of the hundreds of teams running at Woodbridge. At this rate there’s no doubt the team will be ready when regionals come around. 

“The XC team absolutely KILLED IT at Woodbridge, “ junior Leah Okuda stated. “I couldn’t be more proud of the work they’ve put in and what we’ve been able to accomplish.”

This race is a big deal to them, and they look forward to it year round. The team is constantly running hill, track, and long runs to prepare for it. Runners, like sophomore Ashley Cottino, who has been running since freshman year, are still working hard.

“I was really nervous leading up to the race and it was so dark I could barely see. I got a 19:25 which is a good PR [personal record] and I am working to get better,” Cottino explains.

While the main focus is the race, the runners truly connect and become a better team because of the trip. From cheering each other on at the race to just messing around on the bus the runners definitely know how to have fun.

“The experience on the way up to Woodbridge is one of the best parts of the race because everyone is on the bus, we’re messing around, and just having fun,” junior Katelyn Fisk states.

Although the team had a very lighthearted approach to the festivities beforehand, they were determined to win. One of the main focuses was to beat Arbor View. It has been a close fight between the two teams for a while now but, naturally, Shadow XC was able to outrun them.

Junior Kayden Bailey explained, “Shadow is definitely better than Arbor, we’ve beat them in every race.”

The runners are confident in their abilities, but struggle with the mental side of racing. Especially at a race like this the runners need to stay in control so that they can run a successful race.

“The hardest thing while racing is getting into your own head. You’re physically capable of way more than you’d think, but your mind tells you, ‘no, stop, slow down, it hurts,’” Okuda says. “Getting past that is the biggest challenge I face during both races and practice, but when you keep going strong the results are amazing.”

The team did very well, the runners worked hard and it certainly paid off. 

“Overall, Coach Jimenez and I were extremely pleased with how all our runners performed both on and off the course,” Coach Andrew Flynn stated. “They ran hard and pushed their limits and they supported each other as all great teammates do. I think next year they will perform even better in the varsity races…”