Arduous preparations push athletes toward the new season’s finish line


Sarah Markiewicz, Asst. Opinion Editor

As they strive to race at a competitive level, the members of the Diamond Bar High School Cross Country team aim to train harder and more efficiently as two new coaches lead the runners.

Sally Jarvis and Malinalli Cooke are the first year coaches, and the team has aimed to make positive changes that will bring about success following their arrival.

“Coach Cooke and I were very happy with the times, especially since we didn’t have practice over the summer,” Jarvis said about the tryout times. “I think we’re going to have a very good team, especially for our first year coaching here at Diamond Bar, and hopefully we’ll win some races.”

In the coming weeks, before the meets begin, Jarvis plans on making adjustments that will help the team become more competitive.

“My philosophy is that you need to get a lot of mileage in to be ready for the race,” Jarvis said. “This year, there’ll be definitely a lot more mileage, and this year, we’re going in it to win it. I want to show some type of achievement compared to last year.”

As the coaches work to help the team achieve more, the runners also plan to do their part in keeping up with the expectations set in place by practicing more efficiently.

“During races we need to try to stay with the top groups,” senior Anabelle Cheng said. “We have a pretty strong varsity team this year, but it’s still very competitive.”

According to Cheng, some returning players who performed well during time trials were Paul Abdo, a junior, and Grace Wu, a senior. Wu in particular made a great improvement in her trial time since she joined cross country in her sophomore year.

“She improved [her time] by six or seven minutes,” Cheng said.

In addition to increasing the feror of their training, the team also faces a natural obstacle.

“The biggest thing we need to overcome right now is to figure out running routes in the area,” Jarvis said. “Diamond Bar is not near a big park, and there are a lot of stoplights, roads, and cars, so my biggest concerns are safety and getting long runs in.”

Throughout the season, the team will work on improving running times and overall strength by running seven to ten miles for each day of practice.

However, while they practice diligently to place well against their competitors, the coaches and runners will also try to give runners memorable experiences  and adventures as a stronger team.

“You go on an eight-mile long run, you’re running with your friends, talking, and having a good time,” Jarvis said. “I’m all about team building, so I like to schedule Slurpee runs. We go run for a Slurpee, or we go out to dinner as a group team before our big race.”