Dominating the podium

Cross country sweeps the podium at Huntington Beach meet


Girls’ Varsity Cross Country celebrating their wins. PHOTO COURTESY OF LUKE FEDIO

Last Saturday, Cross Country had a meet at Huntington Beach High School. RUHS got first in the overall score, for both boys and girls. The Boys’ Varsity team finished in 2nd Place in Division 1 with 74 points, and the Girls’ Varsity team won their race with 75 points. Top runner for Boys’ Varsity, senior Christoph Waligorski, finished with a time of 15:04.

“I’m proud of being able to come off of not getting a lot of sleep the night before and still winning my race. As we approach mid-season, a lot of guys see how I run at other meets and are itching to get a shot at me,” Waligorski said. “I’m glad I kept them in check today.”

On Girls’ Varsity, Victoria Valenzuela finished in 2nd place with a time of 18:47.

“I was really happy with how I did today. It was a very tactical race in the sense that I ran the entire race alongside my teammate, Ania Magdesian, which helped us keep each other motivated and mentally strong, a concept that our coach advises us to do, called ‘packing.’ Also, whenever the two of us would pass someone from an opposing school, it would give the other school double the points and heighten our chances of winning,” Valenzuela said.

When preparing for games, the runners try to get as much sleep as they can the night before and maintain a good diet to ensure they have the right energy to run well the next day.

In addition to doing things to improve individually, the runners help one another by cheering each other on during the race.

“My favorite part about going to meets is cheering for my teammates,” Valenzuela said. “It’s a really great feeling to be able to run around the course after I’ve finished my own race and watch their progress and try to scream advice at them while they run by.” 

According to Waligorski, there are always RUHS students running around the course to cheer on their teammates at their meets. He enjoys being able to contribute in the races as both an individual and team player.

The JV teams also “performed well” on Saturday as well. Both boys and girls won 1st in their races. Boys had a perfect score of 15 – the top five runners were RUHS students – and the girls had a score of 31.

The next race is a prelim race and will be “one of the hardest courses in the state,” according to Waligorski. It will be on Oct. 13 at the Lunada Bay Little League Field in Palos Verdes.

“It’s going to be a smaller meet against the other teams in the Bay League, and I’m really excited to see how our team measures up against the other schools in our league,” Valenzuela said. “Our Girl’s Varsity team is better this year than it has been in a while, so I think we have a good chance at scoring a lot better than we have in the past several years.”