Dance, Verma show they belong in state race

December 9, 2019 — by Nicole Lu and Cici Xu

“That was the loudest race I have ever run. People were cheering on the side like crazy,” senior boys’ cross country captain Shivam Verma said. 

Both sophomore Harrison Dance and Verma walked away from their final cross country meet of the year with a sense of pride and a new spring in their steps. 

This meet, the CIF State Cross Country Championship, which took place on Nov. 30 at Woodward Park in Fresno, is a 5,000-meter (3.11 mile) race that drew almost 2,000 attendees from all over California. Compared to the moderate-attendance races they’re used to, the state championship was a rowdy, highly charged atmosphere. 

Dance finished 25th in Division III boys, with a time of 15:57, while Verma ranked 30th, with a time of 16:06. While the SHS boys’ team did not all qualify for the state cross country championship meet, Dance and Verma individually met the qualifications to represent the school. 

Both Verma and Dance said they are satisfied with their final times and placements. Though this will be Verma’s last cross country season, both runners say that the season went well, sending them off with enough preparation for the upcoming track and field season. 

The state championship meet course was flatter than the other meets during the cross country season, especially when compared with Crystal Springs, but the weather was significantly colder. 

“Many people wore gloves so their hands didn’t freeze off,” Verma said. “The environment was really nice, though. Everyone was cheering when you were running.”

Though the season officially ended for many runners in the first week of November, the two continued rigorous training up until their final meet.

“We lowered the volume and raised the intensity of our workouts so we would have the best race there,” Dance said. “Our mileage per week lowered from 10 miles and our workouts got a little faster so we could get used to the fast pace needed for the race.”

Both boys have seen huge in their PRs since the season started, and view the past cross country season as a beneficial learning experience that will help push them forward in the future.

“It’s been a really good season. I did better than I thought I would so I’m really happy,” Dance said. “Winning CCS, getting second at SCVALS and winning Mt. SAC was a huge confidence booster so I’m really happy with this season.”


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