Cross Country’s year-round training gives a high chance of success

Alex Yang, Staff Writer

The mens’ varsity cross country team has been one of the strongest teams at Carlmont High School for the past decade, wining seven of the last eight Central Coast Section (CCS) championships, according to CSN Bay Area.

The championship team consists of a total of seven juniors and seniors, all looking forward to the 2013 season. Juniors, Michael Bereket, Owen Lee, Mark Vingralek, and Johain Ounadjela, along with seniors, James Schulte, Ryan Dimick, and Brandon Whiteley, all say that the hard work put into practice and the intense training makes them successful.

For the new season, the runners’ number one priority is to win CCS and come first in the Pacific Athletic League (PAL).

Mark Vingralek said, “Our main focus is on CCS and PAL. [We] also would like to make it to state, and do better than last year.”

Although the success in the past years, the team faces obstacles that might affect their standings in PAL and CCS. One of these obstacles is the loss of seniors, especially Daniel Bereket, last year’s CCS champion.

Michael Bereket, Daniel’s brother, said, “Even though the loss of seniors, the new runners make up for it. We just need to continue to do what we’ve always done.”

The team practices every day for two to three hours each day, totaling to about 10 to 15 hours each week, not including running during the weekends. Also, in order for the cross country team to be ahead of other teams in the regular season, they have to train in the off-season as well.

Owen Lee stated that, “We have to train year-round to stay ahead of the game. We have to take the same amount of work and multiply that by 1000 [to reach CCS and state competition]. ”

“As soon as the season kicks off, the whole team is totally focused,” Lee added.

Another obstacle that faces the side this year is a change in coaching staff. Former coach Jennifer Randazzo led the team to a CCS championship, however this year it will be Al Schmidt’s turn to lead the cross country team. Although this will be Schmidt’s first time coaching cross country, he does have coaching experience, coaching the Carlmont Track and Field team for about 15 years.

“The coaching change is working well. He’s a very good athlete and gives us a lot of conditioning,” Bereket said.

Although with the many changes to the cross country team, the runners still feel confident in this year’s season.

In a concluding statement, Schulte said, “We just have to work hard to be successful and do our best. In the end it comes down to who’s done the work.”