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The Tongva Times

The Tongva Times

The Tongva Times

Cross country shows promise in season races

Bren Belmonte


   On Nov. 4, the Gabrielino High School cross country team will go to the Mission Valley League finals and are expected to qualify for the California Interscholastic Federation preliminaries.

   The Eagles will be competing against Arroyo High School, El Monte High School, Marshall High School, Mountain View High School, Rosemead High School, and South El Monte High School. 

   Senior Rachel Young, a captain of the girls varsity team, stated, “For the boys this year, it’s usually more competitive, but I think they have a solid chance of keeping third [place in the league]. For the girls, while our chances are very high, we still want to move up in the league because classically the [Gabrielino] girls team is second but right now we’re third.”

   Everyone on the team shares this drive to improve.

   “We’re gonna train hard, keep up our coach’s training plan, and make sure we don’t get injured,” stated senior Kenneth Pan, a captain of the boys cross country team. “Health is most important for us.”

   From Oct. 21 – 22, the team attended the 74th Annual Mt. SAC Invitational. With cooler practice times and consistent training, boys varsity came in third place* and girls varsity came in second*.

   Junior Chloe Chong said, “Even though the workouts may be harsh or painful, in the end, they’re really helpful. The pain we end up getting is just being sore, and it decreases our chances of getting injuries.”

   The team’s practices are now at six in the morning or six in the evening, instead of the afternoon at the hottest part of the day.

   Gabrielino attended another invitational on Oct. 15, the 35th Annual Bell Gardens Invite. As a team, the boys placed 15th for juniors and 19th for sophomores, while the girls placed fourth for juniors. No senior girls competed.

   Much of the team’s encouragement comes from their camaraderie and two new coaches, Tony Nguyen and Angus Leung. Nguyen is new to the sport but has been coaching Gabrielino pole vault for four years, describing cross country as different but fun.

   “I love seeing the athletes just doing their best and knowing that they are improving day-to-day,” Nguyen said. “It’s the best feeling ever when you see someone achieve their goal.”

   The Eagles had their second league meet on Oct. 5 at Arroyo, where both boys and girls varsity placed third.

   “We shocked basically the entire league because we started off fifth out of seven,” stated Pan. “Compared to last year, [when] we only got fourth, it’s a big improvement, so we’re slowly getting there.”

   This success was attributed to the combined performances of long-time cross country members and new additions to the team.

   Young gave the examples of juniors Oscar Gomez and Zoey Wu, as well as freshman Archibald “Archie” Lai, who are new but are already varsities.

   At the Bellarmine/Sacred Heart Invitational at Griffith Park on Oct. 1, Lai placed first, becoming the second-fastest ninth grader in Gabrielino history. As a team, girls varsity came in second and boys varsity placed fourth.

   “I feel good even though I threw up by the end,” Lai stated. “It was well worth it.”

   On Sept. 14, Gabrielino had their first league meet at Bonelli Park in San Dimas. Girls placed third and boys placed fifth.

   For many on the team, this was their first cross country competition. Wu described her experience as “scary” and “nerve-wracking”.

   Other members, however, were injured and could not race.

   “I had an overworked quad,” said freshman Natalia San Lucas. “But I got to support everyone, and I had fun cheering them on.”

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About the Contributors
Sophia Pu
Sophia Pu, Editor in Chief
Sophia Pu is the Editor in Chief for the school newspaper, marking her fourth year with the team. Outside of her editorial duties, Sophia is involved in Speech and Debate and enjoys reading, traveling, and spending time in nature. Her commitment to the newspaper grew from a passion for interviewing a diverse range of individuals she might not have interacted with otherwise.
Bren Belmonte
Bren Belmonte, Staff Writer
Bren Belmonte is a Photographer and Staff Writer with three years of experience on our newspaper team. Outside of journalism, Bren enjoys cosplaying, photographing friends, reading manga, watching anime, and listening to music. Bren chose the journalism class in sophomore year after encouragement from family members in the industry. Since then, they've recognized it as a future passion and career interest.
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