The pounding rhythm of footfalls on concrete. The sound of labored breathing under the burning California sun. For most high school students, running is pain; but for a strong, select few, running is a way of life.
Northwood’s cross country team started off their season strong with their first race of the season at Laguna Hills on Saturday, Sept. 9. The results seem to indicate a bright future for our Timberwolf runners.
“We competed very well, especially with our sophomores,” junior Emily Lai said. “All of our sophomore girls finished in the top 20.”
With co-captains junior Mark Kim and senior Mark Lee leading the pack, the team boasts one of its most promising lineups of athletes in years.
“I would say our team has one of its best shots in recent years to make it to CIF in part due to our strong underclassmen who are running really well,” Kim said.
Kim’s optimism is shared by his teammates, including senior Julia Elliot, who has been a part of the team her entire high school career.
“I believe this year’s team has some of the hardest workers we’ve ever had,” Elliot said. “I mean, we’re all crazy enough to run six, nine, ten miles voluntarily almost every day as it is. I’m extremely excited for this season and to see the hard work and effort we’re putting into these excruciating workouts pay off.”
Despite grueling practices in 100 degree heat and intense competitions, the runners find themselves looking forward to their daily workouts and keeping a positive attitude through the difficulties of the sport.
“I’m really glad that I joined cross country,” Lai said. “I love the team and it’s made me stronger physically and mentally.”
“At the end of the day, if you want to get exercise, cross country is a great way to have fun,” Lee said. “People think running is an individual sport, but here, there’s a strong sense of camaraderie as everyone pushes each other towards their best. It’s really something special that you won’t find easily anywhere else.”