By Jack Love
The JV cross-country Cubs, lead by head coach Lalo Diaz, seek to defend last year’s JV team title at the Mission League finals.
The JV team is filled with new faces as freshman and sophomore runners make up part of the team. Juniors and seniors made up the majority of last year’s JV team and had a good amount of experience as runners. “Well we had some real firepower last year. We had two kids in particular that ranked in the top 20 in the 2-mile,” said Coach Diaz.
Coach Diaz emphasized the effort put in by the team this year. “They’re really hard workers, and they make themselves competitive state and national athletes based off their hard work,” he said. The team understands that the talent of last year’s graduating class is gone, but they have no doubt that they can be as competitive as last year’s seniors. “We have all been practicing together and making each other better throughout the year,” said sophomore Brandon Miyakoshi.
Based off the recent years of success with the JV squad, this year’s young team has much to learn as they hope to continue the strong levels of performance. Adrian Jauregui, a leading junior on the team, has high expectations for the team at Mission League finals. “We will hopefully sweep the top 10 in the Mission League finals race, as we have for the past several years,” said Jauregui.
Coach Diaz believes they can clinch the Mission League title as long as the team continues to keep up the hard work and energy. “The heart and desire must be there to fill the positions from last year,” he said.
To prepare the team for the rigors of the upcoming season, Coach Diaz and the entire cross-country squad completed high-altitude training in Mammoth. Coach Diaz said that the talent will come once all the hard work has been put in on a daily basis. “What I love most about coaching cross-country with these kids, is that they may not be the most talented but they are certainly the most hardworking kids,” Diaz said.
The JV team raced Saturday, Oct. 3, at the San Gabriel One-on-One challenge with the Varsity and JV teams receiving first place in the competition.
After finishing first in the JV race at the second Mission League cluster meet on Oct. 13, the JV Cubs look to continue their success at the Mt. Sac Invitational on Saturday, Oct. 24. The JV team will finish their season on Tuesday, Nov. 4, at the Mission League finals.