Cross country team hopeful after a rocky start to season


Lane Shaffer

This cross country team is young and still improving. While The team has started off the year placing last in their first two meets, the coaches believe things are moving in the right direction for this team in their next couple meets.

  “The first meet was a bad start, but the second meet was really a redemption meet to let them know what they are capable of,” assistant coach Duy Bui said.

The team has faced some challenges in the amount of experience they have. They lost six seniors last year, meaning that the varsity team has a small number of juniors and seniors, and more sophomores and freshmen.

 One of the upsides to this new and young cross country team is that this crew can continue to improve over the years. 

“There’s a lot of improvement to be had for new people because we had a lot of seniors graduate last year,”  junior Quentin Stellpflug expressed, “so people gotta step up and then we’ll be doing well.”A runner that has really stood out is sophomore Joshua Hepner, who continues to prove himself as the season began. Starting off the year strong is important for Hepner and the team.

 “I liked getting my PR in my first meet,” Hepner said. 

Stellpflug also had an exciting start to his season. 

“I got really close to my best time from last year,” he said. 

Bui is happy with Hepner and Stellpflug’s performance. 

“They are consistently fast during workouts, motivating and have an extremely good work ethic,” Bui said.

Another runner that stood out to Bui was Sophmore Adrian Carillo-Castro. 

“The amount of raw talent for running he has is crazy,” Bui said. “He improves with each race and doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon.”

Sickness has also impacted this team, as both Stellpflug and Hepner got COVID at different times during the season. This means that they haven’t gotten the chance to race with each other yet. Despite this, the team can find ways to step up later in the season.

 Boys’ varsity is not alone in cross country this year. An interesting development is that cross country has made a full, seven-person girls’ varsity team for the first time since 2019.

Only time will tell for this team. 

“I think the athletes are growing and learning what it really means to be a runner,” Bui claimed.