Oak Park and Moorpark Cross-Country face off in first race of the year

Cross-country team races at Oak Canyon Park 

After nearly a seven month break, the Oak Park Cross Country team was able to resume racing on March 4 against Moorpark at Oak Canyon Park.  

“It was so much joy for the athletes and their parents, being able to come out to our local park, our home course and watch them. It was really fun, cause it’s been not just because of covid, but we couldn’t race the season after the fires too, so it’s been a couple years since we’ve been there. It was cool,” head cross country coach Steven White said.

After the Woolsey Fire in November of 2018, much of  Oak Canyon was burned, resulting in an inability for students to run there.  Because of that fire, this is the teams first time racing at this course since then. 

The athletes have been practicing for months and were able to start off their season at their home park.

“It felt amazing to be able to finally race again and to be running on our home turf,” sophomore and cross country member Savannah Sawyer wrote to the Talon. 

The CIF has created safety protocols for racing which the team had to follow. 

“I think everyone’s been doing a really good job with COVID protocols, the whole team and all the coaches are good about having masks and hand sanitizer around. It’s become a habit to be prepared and we all know to follow it,” junior and cross country member Analise Vidriezca said.

The team members have been running two days a week as a team and then running alone the other days, for the past month. They recently started practicing everyday and preparing for the meets. They practice both speed and hill training and long runs to build endurance. 

“We were as prepared as we could have been. We had been training since august, with some of us having been training for a full year with no off season, so many of us were approaching burning out, so we took a 2 week break in January, which set us back but will be better for us in the long run. But with all that in mind the sudden races we had to change pace, and considering the circumstances we were as prepared as we could have been,” senior and cross country member Wyatt Tack said.

The boys’ varsity team won while the girls’ varsity team lost by a few points. The boys’ JV team lost by a small margin as well as the girls’ JV team. 

“Even though of the four races we won one, we showed that we are competitive, that people were working their butts off,” White said.

League Finals took place on March 18 at Mission Oaks Park, in Camarillo.

“JV girls won league, varsity girls were second.  JV/FS/and Varsity boys finished second and third,” White said.