Cross Country Has a Strong Race at Dana Hills Nike Invitational

Staff Writer 
Boys and Girls Cross Country ran in the 46th Annual Dana Hills Nike Invitational this Saturday, September 28. Despite a late night out with the Homecoming Football game the day prior and the Homecoming dance after the meet, both teams yielded impressive results that day. 
“Although the football game did have most of us sleep-deprived… the homecoming dance was a ‘reward’ for all of us after the race”, Senior Captain Christina Liu said. We all joked that we were too tired to go to the dance after we ran, but we still ended up going and having a great time.” 
Another challenge runners faced this Saturday was the mix of weather conditions as some runners experienced rain and others encountered heat. 
“The sun started to peek out during the [Boys Junior] race even though it had been cloudy and a bit drizzly earlier on” Junior Yaseen Sattar said. 
Senior Girls came in 6th place this Saturday, with Senior runners: Shanya Vankilian, Julia Brestyansky, Lui, Summer Alverson, Serendy Alarcon, Nadia Sadri, and Elayna Tafoya all having a successful finish. 
 “This was my fourth and final time running Dana Hills, which was sort of surreal because it’s been so long since I ran it for the first time” Senior Captain Alarcon said. “It’s a super fast race because there are a lot of downhills, and for that reason, it’s one of my favorites to run.” 
Despite all adversity, both Cross Country teams have continued to push each other to run stronger as a pack.
“[Girls Cross Country] is the absolute best and I am so… proud of all of [them] and [their] accomplishments, no matter how big or small… [They] are my family, and I couldn’t have been prouder” said Liu.
Senior Boys placed 5th overall as a team. Captain Raja Batra was the first runner to finish for University with a time of 16:04.9. Batra often runs with Junior Michael Blinstrub often run together in their Varsity meets and practices, driving each other to the finish.
“One person that motivated me was my friend Raja who [has been a top runner] throughout the season. He has been a motivation in practices when we… run together and in meets as well.” said Blinstrub.
Besides the encouragement of their fellow teammates, Cross Country runners cite their coaches as a source of support, pushing them to do better and better at practice each day.
“Coach Davies and Coach Mosey definitely get me prepared for my races and are there to motivate me” said Junior Dylan Muniz.
Both teams are now training for the League Cluster, taking place at Mason Park on Thursday, October 10th.