Cross Country takes off with strong start to season

Record number of runners enjoy new course


The Linden Cross Country team has had some major changes for the better this year.  

For starters, the team is the largest it has been in Linden history, with a whopping 35 people.  

¨I think it’s awesome,” said coach Miles Neisser. “I’m stoked any time we get more kids to try out this sport.¨  

Increased team membership has allowed the team to have full varsity teams, something that it has struggled with in the past.  

Jasmin Quinonez said, of this season, “I’m really liking Cross Country this year because the team is so big and I feel like I’m really getting to know everyone.  It’s very special because it’s my fourth and last year and I’m glad I’m spending it with this particular team.”

The runners have enjoyed a bus to themselves, both to and from each meet, something that was also viewed as unattainable in the past.  They had enough people to be announced at the Homecoming night rally along with every other varsity team, as well as to walk in the Homecoming parade.

The team’s size has strengthened their status, as well.  

In their first meet, the varsity boys’ team won and the varsity girls only narrowly lost to Argonaut.  

This first meet was a home meet, but it was a brand-new course.  In the past, Linden’s home meet has always been at Orvis Ranch, and while the generosity of the owners for lending their ranch was much appreciated, the dry and dusty setting did not bode well as the first meet of the season, during the intense heat of late summer.  The shady, beautiful new course boosted the team’s confidence for a great start to the season.  

Jasmin Morales, a new member, stated, “As my first year in cross country unfolds, I am really liking the experience.  Running is one of the things I enjoy most.”

A new program at Linden, called Athlete of the Week, has also given Cross Country a step up in the world.  Top varsity runner Isaac Ordaz was proclaimed the first Athlete of the Week for running in a meet with a pulled hamstring and still finishing strong.  

The second meet, at Summerville, was a terrible course, full of hills and longer than any other course in the season.  JV, full of spunk as usual, ran well even though for many of them, it was their first time running hills.  Varsity persevered as well, even though their course was almost a quarter mile longer than normal.  Captains Isaac Ordaz and Emily Zmurk both got 12th place in their races, placing them close to all-league status if they keep it up until MLL finals.

Eight of the 35 runners also participated in the UOP Invitational at Elkhorn Golf Course.  There were at least 150 runners in each race, including over 40 schools.  Everyone got a UOP drawstring bag for participating and had a wonderful time.

“I like Cross Country a lot this year!  It has really grown on me,” said RJ Moore.  “I like the challenge of the run.  The coach is great, the team is great, everything about Cross Country this year is great!”