Day In the Life: Cross Country

For the TPHS cross country team, the 3:25 p.m. bell doesn’t just mark the end of the school day, it signals that it’s time to head to the track. A team stretch — ropes and resistance bands — and 2-mile warm-up greet them, followed by more drills — hill runs, interval training and fast-paced track runs. 

“Cross country is such a wonderful sport to coach, so we take special care and put in a lot of effort when implementing our workout plans,” Assistant Coach Colin Cornforth said. “We try our best to get in as much stretching alongside each intensive running workout as possible.”

This focus on pre-run preparation doesn’t go unnoticed by the team.

“We [stretch] every practice and they help prevent injury,” Abel Ducom (11) said. “The coaches devote a lot of time to injury prevention, as it is very easy to get injured running five times a week.”

The practice proceeds with a recovery run — 50 minutes of running in areas near TPHS, usually around seven miles. Only as the sun sets does the team cool down. 

“I personally find the motivation to do a sport like cross country from the desire to perform at a college level, have fun with my fellow teammates and drive to limit procrastination in my life,” Jonas Rickert (12), who is committed to run at Claremont McKenna College next year, said. “Running is an amazing outlet [for] stress, as it is a really social sport and can often focus you for other tasks you have throughout the day.”

Many people on the team value this community. 

“I really like getting out there and running with them, I like that they are self-motivated too, so even when I’m not out there they still do all the workouts,” said Cornforth.

This season, both the TPHS boys’ and girls’ varsity team won the NCC Coastal League Championships and finished third at CIF SDS championships. Bryce Conover (12) and the varsity girls team then finished sixteenth at the CIF state championships [story on A20].

From practices to states, the team’s camaraderie shows through, according to Katie Friedman (11), who competed at the state championship. 

“The team supports each other,” Friedman said. “We’re there for each other through all the tough workouts and race days. It’s a great community where we’re always pushing each other to do better, celebrating our wins and working hard together during practices.”  

Though the teams fell short of their dreams of making it to nationals, Conover encourages the TPHS community to keep supporting our fastest Falcons.

“Watch us during track season and come watch us win,” Conover said. “We are gonna have fun at the falcon relays and treat that season how we would’ve wanted our season to end.”

Photo courtesy of Bryce Conover

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