GETTING BACK TO PACE: Santa Rosa High students compete on September 10th at a cross country meet, which is the first of the season. Justin Diaz (12) pictured racing in the photo, the first Santa Rosa student in the pack of runners, prior to the meet says that he is, “looking forward to racing more invitationals.” Diaz came 6th overall out of the Santa Rosa High School team in the race. Photo by Maddie Sanabria
Article by Julia Sanabria
Like many sports in the last year, the cross country season was a strange change of pace they had never experienced before. Many are excited for this coming season to get back into a more normal environment. With the added benefit of less fear of life-threatening symptoms from COVID-19, due to more vaccinated people. Last year the students participated in about 5 or so small meets, but there were no invitationals; meets with multiple schools attending, due to the coronavirus.
For many sports, the community created by a team environment is very important if not just as important as the actual sport, and cross country is no different. Senior Justin Diaz shared a touching story about how freshman year he needed help finding his classes and the cross country team were the only people he knew. So he asked them for help and they did just that. Diaz stated, “They helped me out any way they could.” This is just one example of the community that has been built by the Santa Rosa High School cross country team.
A freshman, Gavi Geffner is looking forward to improving her running abilities as well as joining Santa Rosa High School’s welcoming team community. Geffner said, “My favorite part of cross country is definitely the team. Everyone is so nice, and there isn’t one person who I can say is unwelcoming.” This quote encompasses what team energy should feel like, inclusive and fun.
Two of our graduating seniors on the team plan to run in college. Diaz and Olivia House have been running with the team since their freshman years and are excited to participate in college. Diaz says he won’t go out of his way to run with a college team, but would be happy if the opportunity arose to join another team. House, on the other hand, is going to run at the JC for two years, then continue on to a UC hoping to get onto a division two team. The positive experience at Santa Rosa definitely played a role in their decisions to continue the sport.
Coach Carrie Joseph tells her input on the racers sharing her thoughts about the lineup. Saying that they have a strong core of seniors, and up and coming juniors that are well-practiced. As well as many sophomores and freshmen that are making great starts in the season. After their first meet, September 10th for the Bob Shor invite, Joseph mentioned the fantastic team effort and is further excited about the season after this great start.
This year the students get to go back to a little more normalcy in their season. The team is now able to run on their home track again and compete in invitationals! Losing one season to the COVID lockdown only makes them more than ready to come back with a fierce determination. Many speculate there will be good outcomes for the team and are excited to participate.