Students’ Views of Cross-Country

What to expect from cross-country:

Kennedy Gomez:  2019 FTHS Grad-Winner of Laurie Kearney Memorial Scholarship.  Will attend college on an academic scholarship.  At graduation, school record holder in the 300 hurdles.   Cal Poly San, Luis Obispo enrollee

When I joined the team, I knew a total of 0 people, and I honestly didn’t even like running all that much. But just one season into it and I couldn’t imagine my life without cross. I’ve gained a family through this sport, and a passion for running. Not only do the physical gains bring an enormous sense of pride, but the opportunity to go out and run with people who really care about each other always provides me with an escape from whatever stresses are happening in life.

Clayton Brossia:  2018 FTHS Grad-one of the first four year letter winners in FTHS Cross-Country.  UCLA enrollee

My Cross-Country experience has a very special place in my heart. It’s hard, there’s no way around that. Every day you go out there you will have to push yourself out of your comfort zone, but that’s the great part about it. While others may think of us as crazy kids for volunteering to run every day, you and your teammates can smile at the fact that you are being crazy together. Running with everyday with my best friends, we pushed each other to our own personal limits, and that formed bonds that will last a lifetime. The coaches care about everyone, and they taught me skills that have become applicable to all aspects of my life. Above all else cross country is a family, I felt a sense of belonging in this community and it gave me some of the best moments of my life. I hope you get to experience the same!

Wessal Esber:  2018 FTHS Grad-first winner of the Laurie Kearney Memorial Scholarship.  UCSB enrollee

I remember going in to my freshmen year of cross-country absolutely terrified, because running was something that I had never really done before. Believe it or not, eventually, I fell in love with the sport. There were times where I wanted to give up on myself, but I knew that THIS team had something special. We were in our first year, which meant that we got to build our culture and environment from scratch, which got better each and every year. I am so fortunate to have been given the opportunity to run with such amazing athletes, work with beyond extraordinary coaches, and learn valuable life skills that I have taken with me to college.

You can expect the absolute best from the FTHS XC team. In complete honesty, cross-country has changed my life for the better, and I would not be the same person without it. It is so much more than just running. It is a family who will always support you, it is making friendships that will last a lifetime, it is learning that early is on time and on time is late, it is knowing how to take care of yourself, and it was the best part of my high school experience.

Raquel Tadeo:  2017 FTHS Grad (at graduation, school record holder in 200 and 1600-started cross as a junior):  Boston University enrollee and CC & T&F athlete

You can expect a welcoming environment that surrounds you with support and guidance to this new “running” thing. The FTHS XC team will always be remembered in my eyes as a place of positivity, kindness, and encouragement!

Brodie Shore:  2017 FTHS Grad (started CC as a sophomore).  Santa Barbara City College graduate and UCSB enrollee

As a Cross Country runner, you can expect not only to be challenged mentally and physically, but to exceed your personal beliefs of what you are capable of. You can expect to become not only a better athlete, but a better student and a better person as a whole. You can expect to enter not only a team, but a family: a brotherhood and sisterhood that has your back, forged from the trials and tribulations that you endured together (all with a smile on your face). Foothill Tech XC will change your life.

Luis Gonzalez:  2017 FTHS Grad (started running as a sophomore)

Cross Country shaped my attitude, strength, and courage. When the the road gets tough, you learn to chin up, and run taller. Hills and other “obstacles” can be run over with a smile on the face. (You learn to apply that to everyday life) and You learn the value of the little things. Above all, Cross Country gave me close friends,( that I would be happy to call my family) Mentors, (who will always provide encouragement) and an experience that will extend to my everyday life one step at a time.

Brieanna Tafoya:  2017 FTHS Grad (at graduation, school record holder in the 400, 800, 4 x 400).  Ventura College enrollee and All State runner for Pirates

You can definitely expect to be sore for the first 3 weeks, but the solution to that is to drink water, stretch, and keep running. If you were like me when I first started running cross country (VC Express in 8th grade) and only ran xc because someone told you to, then you probable already may or may not like distance running. Personally, I considered myself a sprinter and initially only used xc as off-season training for track. But what I’ve learned over the course of these past four years was that: distance running is not easy at all, you sweat a lot, and there will moments when you feel like giving up. What helped me through these rough patches was changing my mindset from “Why am I doing this?!” and “This is hard” to “I can do it! Just focus on just this repetition. I am strong. I am fast”. By simply changing my mindset to think more positively, I was able to improve my running and get through workouts more easily. Plus, by doing the little things of actually listening to Coach of visualizing my race two nights before and making goal cards, stretching, pushing myself during workout, and doing core; I was able to improve my times tremendously!

So, the jest-being, whether you like to run distance or not, stick with it, because it does get better. The rate of it getting better/easier depends on how much you put into it. XC season my senior year was one of the best years and had brought me so many cool and new opportunities that had/would impacted my collegiate running career. Coming from a girl that had first hated distance running to actually kind of liking it; it gets a ton better. Trust me! Just remember to think positive and to do the little things.

I learned that in order to get better you have to do the little things, stretch, push yourself to do better in workouts/races, and to stay positive. It also helps a ton if you surround yourself around people that are going to push and help you push yourself to do better and run faster. Most importantly have confidence in yourself, put in the work, and work as a team, because when you do you get faster and you win state championships.

Ada Tadeo  2017 FTHS Grad (started running CC as a junior-Cal Poly SLO enrollee)

My entire athletic career had once revolved around soccer alone.  Switching over to Foothill Sports to try something as different and crazy as Cross Country is definitely one of the most rewarding decisions I’ve made in my life! I learned how to become a fighter, to take risks, and to leap out of your comfort zone and to embrace the pain for it will soon be relieved by success and experience

Dan Thow:  2017 FTHS Grad.  (started first year of the program as a sophomore.  Ventura College enrollee

I learned many life lessons, goal setting, made life-long friends, and gained positive characteristics that overflowed into my everyday life.

Joshua Ramirez: 2017 FTHS Grad (broke his leg as a frosh at Buena and had a long recovery.)  UC Berkeley enrollee

Leaving high school, cross country has helped me gain a sense of accountability. Every action I made I had to think about my overall health. Whether it be running with an injury, or going to hang out with friends, I always thought about how my actions would impact the rest of the season. It helps me make healthy and smart choices, and I believe that is really important to not goofing up my life.

John Marcoux:  2017 FTHS Grad (UCSD enrollee)

Expect to learn a lot from something that seems rather simple, an open mind is essential. Everything, no matter how small it may seem, is done for a reason. I learned to value what you have while you have it, and not to take the simple things for granted. XC was some of the most fun I’ve ever had, thank goodness I didn’t pick football.

Manish Manwani:  2017 FTHS Grad (San Jose State University enrollee)

If you are a freshman trying cross-country for the first time expect a challenge. When you enter Foothill’s Cross-Country program you are taking on a sport that takes determination, patience, and responsibility. Cross country is a very exciting sport, but don’t expect to be the best of the best in the beginning because in due time you will improve. Cross country opens up a whole door of opportunities through scholarship opportunities, community service, and gaining strong friendships. At the end of your season you will be amazed on how much you have accomplished. If you are new to Cross Country, I strongly suggest you try it out. Some people, such as myself, may not like it at first, but in the end, you will be glad you stayed. Three years of cross country, and I can definitely say Cross Country was one of the best decisions of my high school career.

Mitchell Boring:  2016 FTHS Grad (at graduation school record holder in 100 and 200-VC Graduate and CSUN enrollee)

Before cross country my grades were slipping and I felt very alone in high school. I felt like I didn’t belong and that I was too dumb to get good grades. A friend of mine pushed me to join cross country since I was pretty good at running and I am so glad he did. During cross country I learned a lot about myself and improved myself dramatically. Joining the team felt like I joined a family, finally somewhere I belonged with people with similar interests and goals. After every race and every practice I could see myself improving, which is such a good feeling, working hard and seeing the effort pay off, even just a little bit. Cross country helped me learn that I’m not dumb, I just wasn’t putting enough effort into my classes. The inspiration for that effort was being threatened to lose my spot on the team if my grades didn’t improve. So greatly in part by cross country, my grades when from 2.8 my sophomore year to above a 4.0 my senior year.

I gained a lot from cross country. A stronger work ethic, a love of exercise, and a tight net of friends that I still can rely on even now after I’ve graduated.

Jocelyn Veyna, 2013 Foothill Tech graduate who ran CC at Ventura High.  Started cross-country as a sophomore in high school.  Ran at Cal State San Marcos and is an enrollee in Fresno State University Physical Therapy Doctoral program

Becoming physically and mentally stronger.  Learning the importance of hydration and nutrition.  Know that some races will not go as planned, but many will exceed your expectations.  Long bus rides where great bonds are developed with teammates.  Meeting new people and creating lifelong friendships.  Expect to be amazed at what you can do when you put your mind to it.  Know that being part of an excellent cross-country program like this one will open many doors for you (College, friendships, coaches, etc).  Know with 100% certainty that hard work will pay off in the end.


FTHS Cross Country Wiki Home Page