A Victory for the Girl’s High School Cross Country Team

All+photo+credits+to+Elizabeth+Bishop.+Image+borrowed+from+https%3A%2F%2Fdelizabethbishopphotography.zenfolio.com%2F
All photo credits to Elizabeth Bishop. Image borrowed from https://delizabethbishopphotography.zenfolio.com/

All photo credits to Elizabeth Bishop. Image borrowed from https://delizabethbishopphotography.zenfolio.com/

Elizabeth Bishop

Elizabeth Bishop

All photo credits to Elizabeth Bishop. Image borrowed from https://delizabethbishopphotography.zenfolio.com/

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The girl’s high school cross country team won its first team victory of the year at the Scottsdale’s Cross Country Meet. The team finished with a team win of 41 points, beating the second place team by 11 points. In the girl’s section, Devon Baggot ended as the top finisher, with Evie Jimenez, Eliabeth Nakai, Emily Garces, and Nardia Padilla following.

When I first heard of our cross country team’s accomplishment, I knew I had to learn more about it. I imagined how proud every member must have been to be part of a team capable of attaining such a victory. In the end, I decided to interview Evie Jimenez, a fellow senior, on the details of the meet and her reaction to the team’s first victory. She gracefully responded to my questions and delivered elaborate answers that allowed me to fully experience the excitement evident in the event:

Evie Jimenez (ACP senior) and a member of the girl’s high school cross country team

Q: Can you tell me about some of the events at cross country?

A: Cross country doesn’t have events like track; everyone runs a 5K (3.1 miles) for every race, the only variation being the hills in the course, but there are events like dance parties, junior high fun runs, and pasta parties that the runners can participate in. These help get people excited to participate in races. We have many meets coming up, such as the Desert Twilight Meet at the end of the month and the Titan invite over fall break.

Q: What events did you participate in?

A: I ran the Scottsdale 5K with Devon, Elizabeth, Emily, Nardia, Zoe, and Riya this past Wednesday. This particular course was VERY hot—probably 107 degrees. There were about 4 hills, if I counted right, and we ran on a lot of concrete. We didn’t do a pre-meet pasta party for this meet, but there will be team gatherings before other meets coming up. Sometimes, we like to sign up for 5K or 10K fun runs during or after the season to see if we can get more good times in.

Q: How did you feel when you found out about your victory?

A: In cross country, scoring is done by what place your top 5 runners each come in at. You want as low a score as possible. As they were announcing the girls’ teams placements, my mom, coaches, and I were sitting in the grass trying to calculate our score and Valley Lutheran’s score to see who had gotten lower. We were not sure one girl’s placement, so we were prepared to hear, “Second: ACP,” but it was a wonderful surprise to hear “Second, Valley Lutheran.” We couldn’t help screaming in delight to hear this; our team hasn’t won a meet in two years! To make it better, we know each runner helped earn this honor. Had one of our runners come in one position later, we would have had more points than Valley Lutheran. I was so grateful for the sportsmanship of the other teams and girls on our own team who pushed this first meet so hard. It allowed us to put forth some new school records for the course, as well (which is the real victory).

Q: Lastly, do you have anything else to say? Perhaps a few words of encouragement or anything you are looking forward to for the sport.

A: I am so excited that we have a strong girls’ team this year! We have been strong in past years, but seeing such dramatic improvement at just the first meet is incredible! I am so proud to get to work with them all on a daily basis. These people are willing to try a sport (many of them for the first time) that no one else will attempt, which is both humbling and inspiring. A couple favorite quotes I would give are: “Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard”, “Our sport is your sport’s punishment” and “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” I would also add: “Even if the hill kills you, you still have to finish the race.”

Cross country is not an easy sport to be apart of. This sport takes dedication, effort, and energy, and those who partake in it deserve all the recognition they have received. We are incredibly proud of our girls and hope to see more victories from our extraordinary cross country team!

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