Freshman boys take reign at Orange County Championships

Cross country competes at the Orange County Championships on Oct. 15


Cross country competed at their best during the Orange County Championships on Oct. 15.
While the varsity team placed seventh place in the rankings, freshman boys placed first and won the meet for Division II schools. John Pantigoso, Idan Vardi and Ian Williams led the freshman team with their personal three mile record times of 16:43,16:44 and 17:04 respectively. In addition, sophomore boys placed sixth place in their league with Benjamin Choi and Bryant Larson running 16:30 and 17:28 respectively.
“My race went really well for me and we have lots of fast freshman this year who we expect to rise up to new levels near the end of our season,” Choi said.
The team has significantly improved this season, according to sophomore Chris New, and it has shown through the races leading to this middle mark of the season. The camaraderie of the team has also been genuine since many of the runners have become very good friends throughout the course of the season.
“We are really good as a team,” sophomore Jarrison Asay said. “We are super close. We…. hang out all the time after practice and overall, [we] are pretty close to one another.”
By pushing the team to its limits with practices six days a week, coaches Bryan Pacheco and George Varvas have also played a part in the success of their runners this season. The practices have pushed the runners to their limit with eight-mile runs, 400-meter sprints and two-mile tempo runs weekly, which prepare them for Saturday races.
“Our coaching has got our runners fast and strong as their workouts increase strength and cardiovascular system… [giving] them encouragement to endure hard runs throughout the season,” Pacheco said.
Another asset of the team is their mental strength. Ever since the very beginning of the annual summer camp, the coaches have cultivated the team into a competitive mindset with a grueling training program. The lessons handed down by the coaches are taken on by the runners during their races.
“[Running] is 90 percent mental and 10 percent physical…the runners ultimately get what they put into this sport,” Pacheco said.