Seven o’clock in the morning, already 90 degrees and the DHS Cross Country team with eight Da Vinci students meets in Vacaville to race in the first, and probably hardest, meet of the season-the Lagoon Valley Classic. On Saturday, September 2 at 11 o’clock in the morning, all members made it through the challenging route with a successful ending.
“The results were really good,” said head coach Bill Gregg, “All new runners did a great job despite having to climb up Big Momma on their first race.”
He has a good reason for being happy about the results.The Blue Devils took first place in the category Frosh/Soph Girls and Freshman boys, third place in Frosh/Soph boys, second place in Junior Varsity Girls and the Da Vinci senior Abby Reina-Guerra took third place in that category. Congratulations!
It was a really hard race. Some may say that it is the hardest race of all. “It was difficult,” said Da Vinci senior Jenna Meyer. First of all you have to run up two aggressive hills, the ‘Big Momma’ and the ‘Little Sister’.
“It’s not the best way to start the season, but on the other hand, it’s the biggest hill the runners will see this season. We don’t have to climb it again, thank goodness,” said Coach Gregg.
In addition to that, it was a hot day. “Other than the fact that it was a hundred degrees that day, I think that running up the hill really takes a physical toll on you and an emotional,” said Reina-Guerra. “There was a lot of crying involved.” Due to the weather conditions the race was shortened: the time between the races was only two minutes so that nobody had to run in the middle of the day.
The Lagoon Valley Classic is definitely a challenge, but how else can you improve your running skills? “The boys varsity learned that they can be good team with the top five boys finishing close to each other,” said Coach Gregg. ”They also know that they have to continue working hard in order to catch the Jesuit team.”
Apart from challenging races, Cross Country is a lot of fun. “The team is just a really nice community,” says Reina-Guerra. There are pasta feeds before the races where the whole team gets together to eat pasta and invitational races including a trip to DisneyLand. Therefore, the team is getting bigger and bigger every year.
“And they keep adding coaches and we got ‘XC stats’, we have now an account,” says DHS senior Laura Young. XC stats is an App where the runners keep track of their times and distances so that you can find out easily, if you have improved your running.
At the end, advises Reina-Guerra, “If you are thinking about doing it [Cross Country], do it.”