Spartana

Running To The Next Level

Lisa Chen, Editor-in-Chief

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Although the fall sports’ season officially begins at the end of July, all teams practice throughout the summer to prepare for the season to come. For one team, this practice took a more intense form with a trip to Colorado.
From July 12-15, 12 members of the boys’ cross country team attended cross country camp at the University of Colorado Boulder.
“We went to Colorado because it’s a cool place to run since a lot of professionals train there,” Ryan Ruppert (12) said. “We wanted to see what it would be like running at altitude since Boulder has an altitude of 5000 plus feet.”
By experiencing a tougher environment to run in, the boys improved their running abilities overall.
“We learned about different stretching techniques and the importance of building your aerobic capacity in order to be successful in distance events,” Ruppert said.
Clearly, the summer running has been paying off. The team placed first at the Snider Hokum Karem, second at the Huntington North Invite and second at the Penn Invite. The team even set a school record with 23 points scored at the Warsaw Tiger Classic, winning first place.
“This year is an amazing year for us,” Eduardo Santoscoy (12) said. “We have runners coming back from last year that have ran semi-state, which is an amazing experience due to us knowing the expectations in practice and in meets to make it to state this year.”
Certainly, the experience on the team has set the tone for the season: six out of the seven varsity runners are juniors or seniors.
“Our experience this year helps us because we are more confident going into big races and have faith in each other,” Ruppert said.
As upperclassmen, the expectations are different in the forms of leadership.
“It’s different (being a senior) because you have more expectations and we also have the responsibility to encourage the younger runners to work hard and to represent Homestead,” Santoscoy said.
Although the upperclassmen hold the responsibility of leadership, they must also improve themselves to compete in meets.
“We have to build on this experience by improving everyday and learning from our mistakes,” Ruppert said.
With the combination of the Colorado camp and the vast experience of the team, the boys have established themselves as a premiere team in the state, with the IHSAA ranking them as sixth in the state. However, with the failure to qualify for state last year, the team is looking to bounce back this year.
“We tend to push each other harder in practices and in meets because we know we can’t just make it to state without working hard,” Santoscoy said. “Our main goal for every meet is to win it as a team and also learn from them too.”
The current successes have the boys in high hopes of what is to come for the rest of the season.
“Coach Ian has been pushing us to our limits and he knows, as well as the team, that this will be our year,” Santoscoy said.

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