Saying Goodbye to a Memorable Cross Country Season

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Leo Merida

Alan Rodriguez (right) runs to finish his race.

Yesenia Zavala, Staff Writer

Senior Alan Rodriguez, has had a passion for sports ever since he was in elementary school, which is why he joined cross country sophomore year.

Rodriguez has participated in cross country for three years and stayed because of the bonds he made. He enjoys how competitive the races are but at the same time enjoys them because they are fun. 

“Alan has been making great progress this year. He’s been working hard since summer and helped lead the team through the finals. His mentality about running and training has changed for the better. He always displays a great attitude and character, which is setting the tone for the younger runners,” said Coach Rocha-Rodriguez.

A typical day for Rodriguez would be one where they have heavy workout days with pain in their legs from after exercising. Something that helps the tiredness would be lying their legs against the wall for about 7 minutes until the pain decreases or goes away. To top it off they then move to the sports therapy room and ice themselves inside a bucket filled with ice and cold water to help relax the muscles and loosen them up. Typically, the runners stay in there for 7-10 minutes.

“In my racing season I think the biggest challenge for me would have been CIF-SS Prelims because that race was where we all had to hit a certain time and try to be in lead group of runners and try to hit the same time as everyone on the team to qualify.We were scared that we weren’t able to qualify but at the end of the day we qualified to CIF-SS Finals.”

 The farthest he has traveled to was Norco, California on September 20, 2019. Here they  attended the WoodBridge Cross Country Classic Invitational and it was around 5:40 p.m. His race with the rest of his teammates started at 8:40 p.m. In order for them to race they got mentally prepared but were scared at the same because that is where all the good teams from California showed up to compete. It was difficult because of how important this race was to them but at the end of the day they were lucky enough and won 1st place as a team and managed to hit an average 15:30s for 3 miles.

Usually his warm-ups consist of him running a mile so that the body can get warm. He then does stretches, dynamic ones, and strides where they all sprint for 100 meters. They do this for about 6 times at the end of the warm-up.

“With school and my sport I manage my time by going to train with my teammates after school.  After we’re done practicing I get home around 5:20 p.m. and do homework. Saturdays I run in the morning which is okay with me because I get more relaxation,” said Rodriguez.

At times there are bad days for him, but one of the things that lift him up would be his teammates. Whenever there is something they are not happy about, they work together to lift each other up and support one another because that is what a team does. He stays motivated thanks to his friends and the bonds they made throughout the years. 

Track and Cross both contain the major part of running but the difference between Cross Country and Track is that Track involves more leg strength along with speed while Cross Country involves mileage and training in muddy environments.

As Rodriguez moves on from high school, he will continue sports and his devotion to run in college. ”I would like to run for both sports because running is my passion.”

After being accepted by a few colleges, Rodriguez hopes to continue running at Cal State Fullerton in the fall.