Cross Country Senior Night has moderate success, high spirits

XC Senior NightKayla Hirsch (10) presents a senior poster to Durga Mahapatra (12) post-race. The Varsity, JV, and Frosh-Soph teams ran against Mission San Jose at Quarry Lakes on November 4, 2015. “This team is so open and inviting… it’s like everybody’s friends here,” Mahapatra said. (PC Sarah Jensen)

Sarah Jensen

Staff Writer

American High School Cross Country’s Senior Night occurred on November 4, 2015 at Quarry Lakes, with Frosh-Soph, Junior Varsity, and Varsity competing against Mission San Jose High School.

From the windy afternoon until evening, American ran against Mission San Jose, finishing in a wide range of positions. Junior Varsity Girls placed at even intervals between 7th and 36th place, and Junior Varsity Boys finished between 2nd and 14th.

“I felt good,” Junior Varsity Girls runner Durga Mahapatra (12) said. “I felt faster than I usually run; I didn’t feel like slowing down this time. It was good, and then the last part I just sprinted.”

Since it was senior night, underclassmen brought posters filled with cross-country jokes, embarrassing photos, and encouragements for the seniors’ last race.

“I still remember my first race as a freshman,” Varsity Girls runner Aditi Vaidya (12) said. “I was so nervous and now I’m done, it’s kind of surreal.”

A few still felt they could have done better in what may have been their last race of the season (depending on whether they made it to MVALs or NCS).

“I was kind of disappointed, seeing that I finished my last race of high school with a tenth place run,” Junior Varsity Boys runner Samuel Wong (12) said. “But it was pretty good, considering that I was going against the second-best team [after Logan] in the league.”

The Varsity Boys team placed particularly high against Mission San Jose. Zackary Felten (10) and Kaedin Silva (10) finished 5th and 6th, respectively, and Miguel Morales (12) finished in 1st with a 3-mile time of 16 minutes, 57 seconds.

“[Cross country] just means how far I could go on pushing myself,” Morales said. “If I put as much work into something else as I do in running, then I could do a lot more. They’re like my family, too. Like my little sisters.”

Mahapatra, too, expressed a love for the openness of the team, saying that “you can just talk to anybody” and “it’s really a nice atmosphere to be in.” For the seniors, the night was the end of an era defined by the people they ran with.

   “This crazy, crazy team,” Vaidya said. “They’re insane but we love them.”

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