Every high school sports team has a goal, whether it’s short term or long term, this objective motivates and inspires the members of the team to strive towards excellence. For the MC girls cross country team, this aspiration was realized after they won CIF’s and earned themselves a spot in the California State meet.
Throughout the season, the girls continually progressed both on and off the race course, winning nearly all of the meets they participated in. Their successes foreshadowed the direction of their post-season competitions and senior Nika Cokas felt strongly about their chances as a team.
“We kind of expected it,” Cokas said. “We did well during the season and we were confident in our abilities going into the races. We trained hard.”
In preparation for their races, the girls trained six days a week and continually pushed themselves by increasing both the distance and length of their runs.
“We worked a lot harder this year,” Cokas said. “Whether that meant picking up the pace on runs or supporting each other throughout the season. We helped each other become more confident.”
Only eight spots are offered per team going into the State meet and several girls on the Mount Carmel team were highly eligible for the coveted positions. Junior Sarah Hawley was familiar with the course used during the state meet as were most of the girls who qualified to race.
“We raced at Morley Fields in Balboa Park,” Hawley said. “The Mount Carmel Invitational is held there so we knew what we were up against.”.
In the upcoming season, the girls cross country team will be losing numerous runners who have helped the team attain several notable victories over the years. Yet, those left behind have the ability to succeed in the future as they have learned many important skills and life lessons from the departing seniors.
Cokas believes her contribution to the team has gone beyond her race times. “I’m so sad that it’s my last year but I was so proud to see my girls do so well at State,” Cokas said.. “I hope I have helped teach the girls how to believe in themselves and have confidence in their abilities. It’s one of the most important parts of being a runner.”,” Cokas said.
Overall, the girls cross country team placed 11th at State, an incredible end to an illustrious season. While satisfied with their successes, the girls are already preparing for next season, where they will be calm and confident from start to finish.