Girls’ XC: Sophomores compete despite injuries

October 29, 2012 — by Carolyn Sun and Lauren Louie

On Oct. 25, the girls ran the flat, 2.06 mile Lynbrook course for the second time this season.

On Oct. 25, the girls ran the flat, 2.06 mile Lynbrook course for the second time this season.

The team placed third out of eight teams, and seniors Maya Nag, Caroline Chou, Suzannah Osekowky, Emma Lee and Courtney Schlossareck along with sophomores Carolyn Qi and Valerie Lensch achieved personal records.

The following race was the DAL League meet at Crystal Springs again, which was the last race for most runners. The top seven runners will race next at CSS Finals at Toro Park on Nov. 11. If the team places in the top three of their division, the girls will compete at the CIF State Meet, the last race of the season, at Woodward Park on Nov. 24.

Prior to racing at Lynbrook, the girls’ cross country team ran the Baylands Park Invitational, a lengthy 3.1-mile course held on Oct. 16. The team placed seventh out of 14 teams, and no runners achieved personal records.

“Most people [ran] it, and finished it and that’s the goal,” sophomore Carolyn Qi said. “It doesn’t matter how slow you go, it doesn’t matter if you’re last or first, as long as you run the entire thing, it’s great.”

Because of schedule conflicts with school, six senior runners could not race. In addition, senior Maya Nag and freshman Amanda Duong-Le were unable to compete because of illness and an injury respectively, so they were replaced with sophomores Cindy Cheung and Michelle Luo, who normally run on the JV team.

“Running in varsity puts a little more pressure than usual,” Cheung said. “There’s less people so you feel like you have to run faster. It’s just harder, but the speed of the other people also inspire you to run faster.”

Cheung, Luo and Qi all raced with shin splints, a common injury caused by prolonged running on hard surfaces.

“In the beginning, my shin splints hurt a lot, but towards the middle of the race you just forget about them,” Luo said. “I guess it makes me slower. Just knowing that you're running injured and running varsity decreases your motivation.”

In addition to shin splints, Cheung ran with hip injuries.

“I didn’t expect it to hurt so much [during the race]. Shin splints are different from hip issues because for shin splints, I eventually get used to it, and I can push myself,” Cheung said. “But for [hip injuries], it’s different. Even if I force myself to run faster, I can’t do it.”

Other factors such as the heat, dust, mud, strong winds and the Dragon Hills, a series of four shallow hills, added to the difficulty of the race.

“This year it was hotter, and it was really windy,” Qi said. “Your hair is just everywhere and you can’t see sometimes because of all the dust, your hair and other people’s hair.”

Despite the harsh conditions, injuries and missing veterans, Qi enjoyed the scenery, which includes a playground and marsh. While other courses are repetitive and uninteresting, the various views at Baylands made the meet seem less tiring, Qi said.

“I love Baylands because the entire time you get something to look at, and you get something to work up to.  The entire thing seems really long, but everything is different,” Qi said. “You don’t see the same view more than twice, and that’s really great.”

9 views this week