Freshmen provide optimism for next season

Samyuktha Vellaiyan, Staff Writer

Having found the key to improvement, the Diamond Bar High School cross country team anticipates better results for next season with a newly developed routine and style for practice.

“I believe we have improved a lot this season and that we have developed a new routine that will help us in the future,” head coach Malinalli Cooke said.

One of the main advantages of this season was the summer practices. Specifically, the freshmen were the most successful this season due to the amplified focus on the running technique. The freshmen girls have been finishing first in the invitational meets, such as the Bell Gardens meet at Don Knabe Regional Park, out running schools such as Ayala, Claremont and Glendora. With the well-trained freshmen, Cooke believes that they will help the varsity team with better results.

“The summer training really paid off as the freshman girls were able to beat many schools we have never really been able to beat, like Ayala and Claremont. Their performance this season shows me that we will definitely improve next season as well,” Cooke said.

However, DBHS was not prepared when varsity ran in the Mt. SAC race since it consisted of hills; the girls finished eighth and the boys 20th.

“Honestly, we could have done better in the Mt. SAC meet if we practiced hill training. Lately, we haven’t been doing hill practices as much, so that might have hurt the boys and girls in the Mt. SAC meet, specifically,” Cooke said.

Because of summer training and the extra drills, many of the runners were able to set their own personal records. Most of the team improved more than two minutes from the beginning of the season, while others have improved from meet to meet.

The League Finals at Bonelli Park consisted of a three mile course. The girls ranked fifth, while the boys ranked sixth, both out of six teams.

The top runners for the boys were junior Thomas Ear and sophomores George Rosales, Lukas Amare and Brandon Rodriguez. On the girls team, the top runners were freshmen Keili Ishitani, Allison Ear, Cameron Tsao and Victoria Artale.

The team captains also noticed a positive outcome from this season.

“I believe that we did pretty much as well as we could expect as most of our team is made of freshmen and sophomores. I also found improvement in the team’s spirit and attitude toward racing,” captain Frederick Yang said.

Though the team has been improving, the coach still sets high expectations for the runners to work on their base training.

“I cannot stress enough how important base training is. The players who have had base training did better off this season than those who didn’t. Once the runners have their fundamentals down and their previous training, I can help build on that throughout the season for better results,” Cooke said.