By CHARLIE SNYDER
Boy’s and girl’s cross-country returned to practice on campus after spending nearly a year in limbo on Feb. 22.
The team’s return has become the first step in an ongoing effort to provide student-athletes in the Hacienda-La Puente Unified School District with a season before the 2020-21 school year is over.
According to varsity coach Mike Gomez, the transition back to practices on campus have had no issues.
“We have been able to cover and follow all of the safety protocols needed, especially with the help of our principal Dr. Kenfeild and athletic director Willie Allen. [Because of new regulations], we want to make sure that we are doing all that we can to make this the safest environment possible to continue practicing,” Gomez said.
In addition, captain Gio Gudiel (11) is looking to assure that his hard work pays off.
“I was able to maintain a certain level of physical activity through practicing and running on my own,” Gudiel explained. “Just thinking about the team and the things that we could accomplish in the future kept me running [during the break].”
Though, Gudiel has not been distracted by his strong aspirations, as he continues to set a strong example for his teammates.
“There has definitely been an added sense of appreciation for what we have and what we have been able to do,” Gudiel said. “Being captain and following all of our health and safety protocols, we have in many ways inspired one another.”
One of those teammates, Nicole Tong (12), expresses a similar sense of community and team bonding through practice.
“This means a lot. We get to finally be together again as a team, encouraging as well as motivating one another to run and compete,” Tong said. “My teammates have always been my biggest source of motivation. They have made me really excited to start competing again. I know it will probably be very different and I am not really sure how it is all going to play out, but I can not wait to start racing.”
Both boy’s and girl’s cross-country aim to take part in their first competitive meet on Mar. 17.