In the league final of the cross country season on Oct. 30, soccer players juniors Emil Erickson, Adam Dean and sophomore Steven Wang ran alongside the only member of the team, freshman Heidi Johnson.

The boys decided to run after Matt Vargo, athletic director and soccer coach, asked them the day before, and they convinced junior Jaelan Trapp to run with them.

Despite not training, Erickson placed fifth of 56 runners in the five kilometer (5k) race, earning him a medal, after passing up four runners within the last 400 meters. The top eight for each gender were awarded medals.

“It felt great,” Erickson said. “I didn’t really know how well I would do.”

Erickson, who will run for the team next year, said he wants to work on pacing himself better.

“I hope that once I actually train with Coach (Nick) Domich, I’ll be much better at pacing myself,” Erickson said. “I’ll be in better condition for long distance running. I just want to do my best.”

Dean finished 47th of the 56 in the 5k. He said his poor finish was due to his own errors.

“I went the wrong way during the race, and I had to go back and rerun it,” Dean said. “I also ate Chipotle before.”

Johnson, who finished second of 16 girls in the 5k, said she was happy with her performance throughout the season..

“I started (training) really late, so at the beginning of the season I didn’t have very good endurance,” Johnson said. “During the 5 (kilometer races) at the beginning of the season, I would get really tired. So this last race was good because I beat my time by over a minute.”

—By Jake Longoria

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