It seems like everyone cries at the finish line of a cross-country race. For the runners, it's the experience of being completely spent, of pain and …
It seems like everyone cries at the finish line of a cross-country race. For the runners, it's the experience of being completely spent, of pain and exhilaration, of finishing in the time or place they hoped to--or not. For a spectator, it's witnessing the difficulties and struggles we all experience played out on the face of another.
At a cross-country meet, one can see hundreds of examples of the traits that we all wish to cultivate in ourselves: pure, gut-level determination; perseverance; and the relentless pursuit of their personal best.
When asked who they were there supporting at the New Mexico state cross-country championship race Saturday (Nov. 10), Veronica "Roni" Martinez-Crook (coaches of the New Mexico Sol Running Club for young runners) responded in unison: "Everyone!"
This culture of unconditional support is part of the ethos of the sport, where team tee-shirts are adorned with epithets like: My sport is your sport's punishment.
One short hill about 800 meters from the finish line is a particularly tough spot on the Rio Rancho course. Runners are tired and it is easy to lose what momentum they have left. Stationed there was a Rehoboth Christian Track Team Assistant Coach, John Tsabetsaye, who cheered for every runner of every race at that difficult hill. "Use your arms! You gotta pump your arms!"
At a course like Rio Rancho, there is a huge crowd. Still, there are lonely stretches without anyone shouting- "You gotta put everything out there!" or "Nothing left on the course!" It is in those quiet stretches where each and every runner must determine for him- or herself just how much they have to give.
When it comes right down to it, every cross country race is a race against oneself.
Both the Taos and Peñasco cross-country runners gave all they had at the state championship on Saturday (Nov. 10) and can be proud of the results.
Taos Cross Country
Strong team races and individual medals at the state championship cross country meet for Taos Boys and Girls
The Boys had a fantastic race. Every man on the team brought their best and fought from the gun to the finish line. It was a great final high school cross country race for seniors Adrian Rodriguez and Zach Trujillo, and Evans and Duran ran personal record times.
After the race, runners from the Pojoaque and Taos teams congratulated one another and exchanged good-natured salutes of "See you next year!"
For the Girls' team race, it was a battle for a place on the podium between Hope Christian, Kirkland Central and Taos, who went third, fourth, fifth with 119, 129, and 132 points, respectively. Though the Albuquerque Academy and Los Alamos teams dominated the top spots, freshman Alyx Mastor gained good position in the leaders' pack early on. After the first mile she was in sixth, and she picked her way up to third by the end of the race with a finishing time of 19:17.50.
Peñasco Takes Individual Medals in Girls and Boys State Championship Races
The A-2A Boys Race was the first of the day, and Gilbert Valdez of Peñasco proved that he can run with the best of them. With a time of 17 minutes and 30.1 seconds, Valdez ran the 3.1-mile race with an average pace of 5:38 per mile. It is a great finish to Valdez's freshman season.
The girls, the defending state champions, ran well and narrowly missed the podium by only four points--the Panthers had 125 while Rehoboth Christian took third place with 121. Pecos and ATC each had a brilliant year, making themselves hard to beat with 36 and 39 team points respectively. Carly Gonzales took an individual 10th place finish and a medal to go with it for her time of 21:17.45.
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