Preparing for the road ahead

Hannah Lee, Asst. News Editor

Although the Diamond Bar High School cross country team has only competed in three meets, in the coach’s eyes, both the team and individual athletes developed significantly since the start of the season.

“So far we’ve had three cross country meets, and the times keep dropping. Seeing improvements gets them more excited and pushes themselves even more at practice,” head coach Sally Jarvis said.

To further enhance the team’s overall performance, Jarvis makes weekly adjustments to cater for upcoming meets. She modifies training routines, taking into account both its strengths and weaknesses. As a result of practices, Jarvis states that over 50 percent of the team have set personal records

Despite the lack of summer training, the team continues to build its way to improvement  as the season nears its end. At the recent league meet in Woodbridge, eight girls and 14 boys set personal records. The Brahmas used this meet as a baseline for improvement, and are striving towards their personal and collective goals.

Although many key players are returning upperclassmen, the freshmen girls on varsity have proved to stand out. According to Jarvis, although their times are already impressive for freshmen, they continue to improve. Among the returning players, Paul Abdo, a junior, and Annabelle Chang, a senior , have been dropping their times significantly as well.

During their invitational meet at Dana Hills in Irvine, nine out of 13 girls and five out of 13 boys all set personal records. Overall, boys placed 44 out of 76 teams and girls were 30 out of 63 teams despite missing several players that day.

Although there were complications with the recent heat, the Brahmas have managed to establish a permanent and safe warm-up route, named “the Jarvis Loop,” for all players. This seven mile course stretches around the perimeter of Diamond Bar. With safety as the main concern, the course was designed so that students would always be in the open and visible.

In addition, the team is also experiencing transition issues, as JV and varsity combine. As of now, the coaches are still trying to stabilize the team and establish a core group of runners.

“The league meet went better than expected, the varsity boys came in fourth out of sixth, so it’s better than last year. But as a team, we still need to get there,” assistant coach Malinalli Cooke said.

Along with their improved performance, the Brahmas have also evolved their mentalities and attitudes toward the sport. The students lacked discipline in the past, with more of a “running club mentality” according Jarvis, rather than an official, established team. They now take themselves and the sport more seriously, and have developed a stronger team bond.

“I foresee the girls placing fourth overall for this entire season. Boys, I feel like if they push themselves really hard, they have a chance at beating Bonita third out of sixth. Which overall is a good improvement because from what I was told, the prior years, they were coming in 6th out of 6th,” Jarvis said.