Héloïse Schep
Freshman Mackenzie McLeod, fourth red shirt from the left in black leggings, begins her freshman/sophomore 2.18-mile race.

With the cross-country team’s championship race fast approaching, the runners wanted to place as high as possible at their Granite Regional Park meet, Oct. 8.

But because the race was the day after class trips, the runners hadn’t trained in a week. Despite these challenges, one personal record was broken.

Junior Riya Rampalli ran the varsity girls’ 3.18-mile race. She finished at 26:11.37, a personal record, and placed 78th of 100 runners.

Freshman Mackenzie McLeod ran the freshman/sophomore 2.18-mile race. She finished at 21:06.17, placing 57th of 61 runners.

“I was pretty happy with my time. The trips really took a toll on me. I was out of shape and very tired.”

This race had few participants (61)  compared to the race McLeod ran the previous week, which had over 200.

Coach Nick Domich also said that the trips challenged the runners.

“(The trips) definitely set the team back mentally and physically,” Domich said.

“The runners are just relaxing for a week, having fun, which is great, but they’re not thinking about their race.

“A lot of runners also deal with other requirements, like Octagon or Medallion or other sports, and that, combined with the trips, really sets us behind.”

Junior Theo Kaufman and freshman Zak Wright ran the 3.08-mile varsity boys race. Kaufman finished at 21:09.26 and Wright finished at 22:44:46. They placed 89th and 100th, respectively, of 112 runners.

This race was important to Wright because it was his first time running a varsity race, as there were no seniors running at this meet.

Domich said that although he is satisfied with the team’s results, the girls’ teams are doing better than the boys’.

“Our team started off great: we only have three runners on our girls’ teams, but they’re all progressing and getting better” Domich said.

“I had higher hopes for the boys, though. It seems like they’re falling apart as the season continues.

One of the team’s “best runners”, Junior Theo Kaufman, suffered from a hip injury, preventing him from training with his teammates. Domich hopes “the Oregon trip didn’t take a high toll on him.”

Domich is also worried about the team’s championship race.

“We only have one more meet until the championships- the team has to get it together,” he said.

Domich said he wants the team to be one of the top two in their sections. Right now, the team has a higher chance of being one of the top five teams, which is still an improvement from the previous years, according to Domich.

He pointed out that Granite Regional Park, where the championships will be held, is also the team’s home course

The next meet will be at the Willow Hills Reservoir Golf Course on Saturday, Oct. 15. This is a challenging course, Domich and it will be their last meet before championships.

By Héloïse Schep

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