Cross Country: More Than Just a Sport


Malachi Carrasco races to the finish line.

Diana Garza, Co-Editor in Chief/Webmaster/Co-Sports Editor

Selma High’s resilience is truly captured by the 2021 cross country team. Although facing canceled meets and bad air quality, the athletes manage to stay motivated and perform their best. Because cross country is an individual sport, it is up to each runner to push themselves toward progress. The team is happy to be back, aiming for self improvement. 

Each day the team practices for an hour and half after school. Practice consists of running a minimum  of two miles, focusing primarily on pacing, as well as understanding different terrain. Pacing refers to controlling yourself in order to have a greater stamina. This is especially important when running great distances due to the intense activity. 

Due to horrible air conditions, a few cross country meets and practices have been canceled. The bad air coupled with covid’s intrusion has pushed the team away from their peak. 

“I understand the circumstances with everything going on,” admits Coach Henson. “But the team has kept really motivated.”

Since the beginning of the season, cross country has had 5 meets, all of which had been going in a prosperous direction. 

“So far meets have been pretty fun,” said sophomore Malachi Carrasco. “I’ve had a really good time with the team.” 

Despite its dependence on individuality, cross country is still made up of a team. The members encourage each other, creating an exemplary group of determined athletes. 

“I’ve made good bonds with my teammates, who I consider family,” explained Junior Jayden Rodriguez. “They’re really good people to talk to.”

Rodriguez—like many others—are new to the team. With schools reopening, students have looked to be more involved and take advantage of missed opportunities. 

Senior Brilla Montijo is another cross country member, who’s genuinely looking forward to the rest of the season. 

“Everyone is so nice! My goal is really just self improvement and continuing to learn a lot.” expressed Montijo.

Each team member has their own specific goals this season. They’ve come to the uniform decision that they can only work to further their skill. 

“I love the excitement and joy of getting medals,” admitted Rodriguez, “It makes me feel accomplished, and I really want to place top in the top three”

Although cross country isn’t just about getting medals, it’s always great to be recognized for your hard work. 

“I like that no matter if I do bad, I’m getting better each time,” said Montijo. “Our coach is really just proud if we stay motivated and continue to try our best.” 

Coach Henson has been training runners for 47 years. After all that time, he still finds joy and accomplishment in his work. 

“I like being involved with the students and seeing them achieve success,” Coach Henson declared. “I do what I can to help them.” 

Through obstacles and hardships, the Selma High cross country team is determined to learn and evolve. The intimate group recognizes that triumph is a product of determination.