Cross country repeats in first place

Fifteen MacArthur runners earned medals, leading the way for a repeat championship for the cross country team.

On Wednesday, October 2 at Mcfadden intermediate school, MacArthur’s cross country team competed against all the other middle schools in the Santa Ana Unified School District and placed first overall.  The team was coached by Math Teacher Mr. Jim Axton and P.E. Teacher Mr. Patrick Evans and Mrs. Veronica  Covarrubias.  

Evans and Axton have been coaching cross country together for three years. “Every year has its challenges, ” said Evans, but the team has enjoyed success over his tenure.  Evans alone has coached cross country for 21 years.

Last year MacArthur received first place overall for cross country and had a total of 18 medals.  This year for Cross Country MacArthur won first place for their second year in a row but with slightly fewer medals, 15.  

Evans and Axton gave all runners a little motivation speech before the meet began.  “You’ve trained very hard,” said Evans to each individual runner before the race.

Every grade level runs a different distance in cross country.  Sixth graders run one mile, seventh graders run a mile and a half, and eighth-graders run two miles, meaning there is a half-mile increase with each grade level.  

Similar to Evans, Axton offered words of encouragement to each athlete as they began the race.  “Just run your race,” said Axton.

To make the cross country team, sixth and seventh-graders had to run in the top seven during practice.  For eighth-grade, runners had to finish in the top ten during practice.  If students are one spot away from making the team, they become the alternates. 

For the individual team places, seventh-grade boys and seventh-grade girls took first place.  For eighth-grade boys and sixth-grade boys, they placed second. Sixth-grade girls and eighth-grade girls placed third.

“The seventh boys and girls kicked butt during the race,” said Axton.  Axton also stated that eighth-grade runner Jamie Colchado received a much faster time than she was practicing at.  

Donna VanBuskirk, eighth grade, said, “I had a good time because I got more exercise.”  She also said that every year she participated in cross country was a good year.  

“I felt happy and tired,” said seventh-grade Allely Padilla, after completing the race.