When all is said and done, a cross country season is defined by what a team does during what is known as the “racing season,” their Conference, Regional, Sectional, and State Championship meets. If that is the standard that one measures success against, then this years’ Sun Warrior team has put their stamp on the most successful season in school history! It started with the City championship meet on October 14. The City Championship is unique because there are four distinct levels in which teams compete (freshmen, fresh/soph, varsity, and open). Because of this, it truly tests a team’s depth, something that the Sun Warriors had on full display. Although there were highlights across the eight races, the race that stole the show was the Girls Varsity race as the lady Sun Warriors recorded their highest finish in school history, finishing in 7th overall (a feat that has only once been accomplished by the boys in 2014).
The following weekend, both teams moved into the state series and a major milestone was reached as both won the first ever Regional Championships in school history. Leading the way for both teams was senior Mariah Torres who was the girls individual champion and sophomore Adonaliz Hernandez who was the boys individual champion. Both Torres and Hernandez, along with the teams, kept their momentum going as they headed to Sectionals. Sectionals was bittersweet as both teams recorded their highest finishes in school history (6th), but were left out of qualify as a team by one place as only the top five teams qualify. Although frustrating, it doesn’t take anything away from the work that all the runners, not just the seven running, put in all year to get the teams to this place. Individually both Torres Hernandez were the top placing individuals to qualify without a team. Torres was joined by teammate, sophomore Kaylani Esteban while Hernandez truly set himself apart as a premier runner winning the entire Sectional meet.
Congratulations to both teams on a tremendous season! The hard work and lessons learned will continue to ensure improvement both in running and beyond.