By Francis Roceta, STAFF WRITER
The past 3 seasons, the Galileo’s Varsity Cross Country team has not come in higher than 5th place with last year with only Senior Tracy Tam finishing 7th in the All-City and running at State Championships. However with a much stronger team this year, Cross Country has a chance to place in the top 3 at the All-City Championship. This year’s team is much improved because of more top runners, better workouts, more dedication, and a very tight-knit team.
The team is led by returning captain, Senior Zachary M.. Coach Keough said, “His work ethic and commitment have provided a solid base of leadership for the team.” In addition, the team has a couple of boys and a couple of girls contending for individual spots at the state meet; including juniors Cathy L. Tracy T., Kevin S. & Nathan L.
The Cross Country team also has a new assistant coach, math teacher Mr. Honnef. He has been a tremendous help to the team, developing workouts, creating a weight training regimen, and making sure athletes are prepared for races. In addition, he runs with the athletes on a daily basis. Coach Keough says, “Coach Honnef has been a tremendous addition to our team. He has given the students another experienced voice — providing valuable input on better training, injury prevention, and race strategy.”
In addition to the help the team has received from Coach Honnef, they have also been working hard to improve their times by logging miles, doing core work, & weight training. Some of the runners will have logged over 300 miles of running from the start of school until the end of the season, Nov 16th. Both coaches also try to teach the kids to have a positive, never quit attitude.
Beyond just accomplishments on the course, the cross country team is also a very tight-knit group. According to the team, when teammates have bad workouts or races, there is always someone there to give support — reassuring each other that next time will be better, pointing out positive aspects of their training/racing, or taking them out for boba when things are really rough. Mr.Keough says, “It’s one of the closest and most supportive team’s that I’ve coached in 13 years.” They also try to teach the kids to have a positive never quit attitude.
The main goal this year is for each member of the team to feel like they accomplished something at the end of the season. Other goals the team has set are to overcome adversity, have fun, create stronger bonds between friends, and achieve their running goals. The whole team’s main goal is to send at least one play to all city and has the top three finish all stages.