The Crusader

Riordan runners race to remarkable ratings

EJ+Odocayen+%E2%80%9920+at+the+Lowell%0AInvitational+at+Golden+Gate+Park.%0Agoals+together%2C+as+cross+country+is+a+team+sport.
EJ Odocayen ’20 at the Lowell
Invitational at Golden Gate Park.
goals together, as cross country is a team sport.

EJ Odocayen ’20 at the Lowell Invitational at Golden Gate Park. goals together, as cross country is a team sport.

Alex Hsing ’21

Alex Hsing ’21

EJ Odocayen ’20 at the Lowell Invitational at Golden Gate Park. goals together, as cross country is a team sport.

Harrick Wu ’19, Features Editor

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“On your mark, get set, BANG!”

Runners ran with all their might when they heard this, trying to race to first place. The Lowell Invitational is typically the first race of the season. It is usually the first one ran by the newer members, but it is also ran multiple times by the veteran members.

Aidan Murtagh ’20 is one of these members. Although it was the same race when he ran it this year, it was a totally different experience than the previous runs. He felt more prepared andmore confident.

“This year, at the Lowell Invitational, I felt a sense of confidence that I had never had before. After putting in hundreds of miles over the summer, my teammates and I felt prepared for the race in a way we never had before,” said Murtagh.

For others, typically freshmen, it’s their first time running it. Compared to the 2.93 mile course JV and Varsity members run, freshmen only have to run a 2.13 mile. Having to run the 2.13 mile race for the past two years, EJ Odocayen ’20 got the opportunity to run the varsity race this year. He, along with other varsity members like Murtagh and Nicholas Lundquist ’20, hopes that with lots of practice they will improve their time for next year.

Odocayen said, “Next year, I really want to take whatever level I’m at the end of the season and just soar to an even bigger one. However, it’s a lot easier said than done, as in the off-season, I have to be running constantly while still pushing myself to load more and more mileage.”

Benny Willers, an RSP Aide and a coach for Cross Country, hopes to get back into higher levels of competition this year. For example, CCS, but to ultimately hopes that his athletes have fun and remain in good shape.

Willers said, “Our goals for this season are to obviously, as always, get back to the section meet and get back to CCS. Our long term goals are hopefully going back to the state meet, but most importantly to have fun and stay healthy.”

Besides the goals set by their coaches for the rest of the season, runners have their own goals. For example, Murtagh wants to show that their team is still able to compete in the league, even with many members graduating from last year. Ambitiously, he hopes to help place the team in the top two in CCS, so they can earn a spot in the state meet, which is a feat done by very few teams.

Odocayen’s goal is to make it back into CIF State Championship, which he was able to accomplish in his freshman year, but unfortunately, missed out on his sophomore year.

While Lundquist’s personal goal is to maintain or exceed hisoverall fitness, he also wants toimprove the team’s culture so that everyone can achieve their goal

Lindquist said, “My primary goals are to make myself better through my time and overall fitness. My goals for the team isto work on the team culture and that we work together as a team instead of focusing our individual goals in it itself, so we focus on all our goals together to improve as a team, because Cross Country is a team sport, and I want our team to be better than all the other teams.”

Whatever the runners accomplish or do not accomplish, cross country has made an impact on their experience at Archbishop Riordan High School. Not only has it helped runners grow athletically, but it has helped some learn discipline and time management for their academics and practices. Furthermore, their social circles have expanded by meeting new friends while on the track.

Murtagh said, “Cross country takes up a big portion of my life at Riordan. Running has allowed me to grow athletically, but also academically. I learned how to manage time much better than I had previously. Cross Country has also introduced me to some of my best friends on campus, and without cross country and track, my life at Riordan would be tremendously different.”

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Riordan runners race to remarkable ratings