“This year is definitely looking up,” says Alyssa Vo, a sophomore cross country runner at La Jolla Country Day who is embarking on her first real fall sports season after the “athletics interrupted” COVID mess of a year ago.
Sure, it’s trite, but to run two informal running events last fall on the beach against local rivals and to not even have the meets worthy of recording on Athletic.net is to lose a year and to yearn for a season that’s going to count. “I kind of ran last year,” Vo, as she warms up for today’s team workout, says somewhat apologetically. She also plays right fullback on the Torreys girls soccer unit.
As Alyssa and her Torreys teammates prepare for another meet this week, you can hardly detect there was a missed season in 2020 unless you ask individual runners, while coach Scott Sanders walks (curious phrase) them through times, pacing, going out too fast or slow at the Raven Invitational last week. Vo, who enjoys studying Spanish and science, follows along quietly in the back of Room 102 on campus.
“We have younger and older (runners),” Sanders, in his 21st year as head coach, tells a reporter beforehand. So many of the athletes are enjoying recording times and finding out where they are in training and competition after the “interrupted” year.
Paul Criado ran 17:11.60 over three miles at the Canyon Crest meet Sept. 4. Other senior boys are Jake Needle (17:15.17), Eisa Al Mazrouei (18:04.55), Varun Singh (18:37.63), and Aidan Ideker (18:57.71). David Thorpe recorded a time of 20:04.60, while Jacob Walter came in at 20:11.96, and Ricardo Cervera 20:57.81. Seven run as a team, the five fastest count toward the team finish.
“I’ve never been the fastest,” says Cervera, one of the eight senior males out of 24 boys and three girls on the squad. But he seeks to get better, and he values the friendships. “I’ve been running for four years. It’s good exercise. I have a lot of friends on the team. There are workouts that are at ‘conversation’ speed. We have a chance to talk a good 45 minutes.”
Ricardo is named one of three LJCDS athletes of the Raven meet, breaking a seven-minute-per-mile pace. Sareena Perez, a freshman, is another, running “by far her fastest race” in 11:52.69 in the 1.5-mile frosh/soph girls event. William Cleaves, a fellow ninth-grader, is the third honoree, with 9:56.18 over 1.5 miles.
Audrey Brewer, a sophomore, is an LJCDS “lifer” (attending since kindergarten). “I’m a very creative person,” she says. “I love mixed media, combining several different materials.” Brewer ran two years in middle school.
Dylan Zou-Schepp, a junior, says, “It’s cool (being on a team of 24 guys). It’s kind of weird being one of the older runners now (with the missed 2020 season). Into business and economics, “I’m taking AP Microeconomics,” he reports. He likes the “energy” of running in regular meets.
Eisa (pronounced EE-sa) Al Mazrouei says, “I love running. I’ve run for four years, including track. I run much faster now.”
Read more: San Diego Community News Group - LJCDS cross country Team uninterrupted