Columbus Cross Country Team runs difficult course, begins season
Danny Villanueva helped in the production of this video.
As the Columbus cross country team began the 2014 season they opened up on a familiar course, Tropical Park. It is where the Explorers practice every day and it is also where they held their first annual “King of the Hill” event against some of the top schools in the county.
“We run this course daily”, Head Coach Eric Pino said, ” I always ask them to run the same routes so they familiarize themselves with the roots, with the holes, and right angles, there are a lot of right turns, and it’s how they approach these angles that saves them a lot of time in the race.”
The obstacle that might have been the biggest challenge to the runners, however, is the hill that the race was named after. The hill has a combination of grass and rock which, along with its height, slows down the runners making it a more difficult track. Also the weather for the runners was not ideal, as high temperatures affected the runners’ fatigue making it more difficult for the participants to achieve the time goal they strived for.
The cross country team ran well as a whole for the Explorers on Thursday, finishing fourth overall without two of their top five runners. Although many would consider the meet a successful one for Columbus, the players were not content with how the evening’s festivities went down expecting more from themselves.
“We did mediocre,” said Jorge Areces a Columbus Cross Country Runner, “The bottom of our team ran alright but the top three of our team did good,” he added.
That top three was lead by Junior Humberto Freire who finished first for the Explorers and has been one of the most consistent runners on the team. Moving forward he will be relied on to help lead the team as they move forward toward the state championships at the end of the season.
Overall, the event was a success for the Explorers’ Cross Country team serving as a foundation for the rest of the season.