Cross country adjusts late season training by incorporating harder workouts

October 18, 2022 — by George Hu and Kevin Yang
Photo by Ian Tippetts
The varsity cross country team gets ready to start running in the SCVAL league race at Baylands Park on Sept. 20.
The team hopes to display more improvement in their race strategy during their final two meets of the season.

With the season coming to a close, the varsity cross country team has just two races left: SCVAL league finals on Nov. 1 and CCS on Nov. 12. 

Based on current times, few of the team’s runners are likely to qualify for the state meet, but boys’ team senior co-captain Wasil Khan probably has the best shot.

To train for the postseason, the Falcons, led by coach Ian Tippetts and his wife Kathy, have adjusted their practice regime to incorporate harder aerobic runs and workouts, such as hill repeats and interval repeats, which vastly differ from the early season training.

With this increase in difficulty — called “tapering” in cross country — the team’s weekly mileage is much less than that of their midseason training.

Even before the team started to taper, most runners saw noticeable improvement — not only in their times, but also in strategically planning runs.

“Since most of our varsity runners are around the same speed, we stay together in a group for most of the races,” junior Steven Sun said. “Doing this helped us push each other during the race and thus, as the season progressed, our individual and team race placements have steadily gotten higher.”

An example of this occurred in the 2022 Artichoke Invitational on Oct. 1, where the boys’ team placed 15th out of 30 teams and the girls’ team placed 7th out of 18 teams, despite the boys missing their two best runners — Sun and Khan — and the girls missing their top runner — senior co-captain Elizabeth Stoiber. These top runners were resting for an SCVAL league race that occurred three days later at the hilly Crystal Springs Park course. In that race, the boys team placed 10th out of 13 teams and the girls team placed 9th out of 13 teams.

If every athlete executes their desired race strategy well at SCVAL league finals, Khan said he feels that the team will place higher in the competitive league finals meet than in their early season races.

“Our team is in Division 3, while all of the other teams in our SCVAL league are either in Division 1 or 2,” Khan said. “So, if our team places in the top six at league finals, I’ll be extremely happy.”

Boys’ varsity: 

senior Wasil Khan, juniors Diego Rocabado, Neil Miller, Steven Sun, Jacob Merill and Raghav Rajan, sophomore Pranav Rajan

Girls’ varsity: 

seniors Jenny Chan, Irene Frazier, Isha Goswami, Risha Raman, Elizabeth Stoiber, Carolyn Wang and Miranda Yee, juniors Lynn Dai and Kayla Jung 

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