New regimen prepares Brahmas

Cindy Liu, Staff Writer

Diamond Bar High School’s varsity cross country team is always on the move. Under head coach Malinalli Cooke, the team got off to a head start with a new summer training regimen in preparation for their upcoming season.  

Last year, Cooke left her position as the assistant coach but ultimately returned to the team after Athletic Director Kevin Ferguson asked her to take over for previous head coach Sally Jarvis.

Over the summer, a suggested practice schedule was posted on the team’s website for runners to follow on their own. Sophomore Allison Kang ran three miles twice a week and occasionally went on hiking trails.

“I’m really looking forward to improving my time and working as a team to build confidence,” Kang said via Facebook.

Cross country finished in 5th place in the Palomares League Finals last year, improving from its previous rank of 6th place. Additionally, senior Paul Abdo broke alumni James McCreary’s school record for the three-mile run of 15:59 with his time of 15:49 at the Mt. SAC course in October 2015.

This year, Cooke will focus on bringing the team together as well as raising the expectations for team commitment. Fun Friday is a new addition to the regimen, which encourages runners to not only build team bonds and train but also to enjoy what they do. Recently, they had a “watermelon run” in which the team split into small groups and ran a short relay carrying a watermelon. At the end, they could eat the watermelon.

“I don’t believe a team can be successful if the team is not cohesive and not working toward a common goal,” Cooke said via email. “ I felt that the team was more of a collection of individuals last year, this year I want the runners to be more cohesive.”

The team has regular practices that include long runs twice a week alternating with speed workouts and strength training every other day. Adding strength training is a new tactic Cooke has added to the training. She plans to take the team to the weight room a few times every week to build the runners’ fitness levels in preparation for meets.

The team’s first meet, The Fastback Shootout, was held at Bonelli Park, San Dimas on September 3, where they competed against around 40 other teams.