Breakout freshmen seem to be a theme this season for the cerritos cross country team.
But any runner will tell you that running is ten percent physical and 90 percent mental.
Freshman, and breakout front runner, Christian Macias said, “Mentally we need to stay focus during warm ups and going into the starts of the races.”
Despite having young blood in the mix, both teams have performed at high levels and come out with solid results.
The teams began their perspective seasons at the lancer invitational race, where despite difficult conditions and schedule confusions the teams placed in the top ten.
However, coach Bryan Ramos thought the team under performed.
“As an opener we just didn’t perform to what they were capable of doing,” Ramos said, “they came in without the proper mindset.
“They the heat bother them, they let the dust bother them, they let the course bother them. All the athletes run in the same conditions it wasn’t an excuse that just mentally created an excuse for them to not perform,” he finished.
Even though the team as a whole was thought have underperformed, individually there were standout athletes.
For the men sophomore Faustino Diaz started the season off strong by being the teams top finisher.
He finished first for the team in both the Lancer and Fresno Invitational.
Macias has also has started off strong in his rookie season finishing behind Diaz and by becoming one of two top runners amongst the men.
The women with the help of their two to runner Rebecca Harris and Adriana Velasco were also able to place in the top ten at both races.
Harris said, “We did really well. We stayed together as pack and [were] talking during the race.”
She went onto say the encouraging each other and sticking together during the races, “felt like a push.”
The real test for the was a the SoCal Preview Meet in Irvine where both community and university team compete.
Ramos said, “We run the [SoCal] preview meet as an indicator for what we would do in the Southern California meet.”
Both the men’s and women’s athletes felt they had okay performances but mentality amongst groups were still an issue.
Macias said, “We could have done better. We [really] need to work on staying together as a pack.”
Ramos also stated that, “[The women] did better than week had better. [They] had better ‘packing.’ Our number two runner just really need to move up in the standings.”
This was the first time that most of the women competed against top schools in the state that weren’t community colleges.
Returning athlete Adriana Valasco said, “The [women], I feel, are more confident.
“This was first time they competed [against university] schools,, so feel they have gained more confidence,” she finished
The next race will held friday at Central Park, in Huntington Beach.
This is course that Ramos calls “brutal,” especially for the men.
“The course is about 30-45 seconds slower for the men,” said Ramos.
The plan of attack for this course is just to attack early and maintain a consistent speed.
Cristian Macias went on to say, “We have to come out strong, but not too fast. We have to attack the hills properly.”
For the women some have not yet had the opportunity to tackle this course.
Freshman runner, and breakout athlete Rebecca Harris said, “I’ve actually never run there before, but I believe [the team] be ready.”
She went on to say that as long as the women set their minds on winning and believing in themselves that they will be able to perform to their full potential.