Running through hills

Getting up before the sun, the Diamond Bar High School cross country team is in it for the long run, gearing up for the lengthy season ahead.

This past weekend, the team competed under record temperatures for their first meet of the season: the Fastback Shootout at Mt. San Antonio College. Junior L’Mio Edwards placed second in her division, while senior Simon Worku and freshman Kirin Joseph placed fifth and top 10, respectively, in their divisions.

“Initially the course was supposed to be two miles, but a few days ago they made it 1.8 miles,” Worku said. “It got hot in the middle of the day, so the last six races were cut even shorter to 1.38 miles.”

Since the conclusion of summer camp, practices have commenced in the usual fashion. Three times a week, the team trains a couple hours before school. In addition, they train after school and weekends, running over three miles each day.

“Trainings have been tougher because of the heat,” senior Paul Pacis said. “But the new addition of coaches is encouraging us to get better.”

Though the team lost many senior athletes this past year, the team has increased in number. Several freshmen and sophomores are preparing for their first season with the team.

“The freshmen this year so far have shown a lot of promise and brought a lot of heart to the cross country team,” Pacis said.

New team captains have stepped up to the plate, fulfilling their duties by supporting their team along with the new girls coach Robert Sierra.

“My first season with the Brahmas can only be described as amazing. The commitment and dedication from the team is unbelievable,” Sierra said. “The dedication, I’m certain, can lead to a possible championship,”

The team has also been training individually with many personal goals and records to beat. Varsity senior Simon Worku is working towards surpassing the school record for the three-mile event of 14:36, set by former Diamond Bar standout Lukas Amare, who is also his cousin.

“I plan on making up the time by using the base I built up over the summer to increase my speed along and the speed training as well,” Worku said. “It’s just hard work and consistency, and that’s all.”

The Brahmas are currently looking forward to their next league meet at Horse Chief Canyon on Sep. 22.