Keeping Pace: A Cross Country Highlight

I’m Justice Galindo. Cross country is our first sport at the beginning of the school year, along with volleyball.  For cross country,  we do a total of five or six meets and we finish beginning of November, when basketball starts here. My sister Dymond (Trinity) is also in cross country.  We get to wear unique jerseys to represent LSA, a tank top and shorts, that makes it easier to run.
 I joined cross country because it would improve my running. I need to improve my running to play other sports like basketball and softball, which I hope to do this year.  This is my first time in cross country.  I think it’s really fun; after the first few meets it gets easier.
At the meets the girls and guys run separately.  You have six or seven other schools that get together.  They have markers at the first mile and second mile and you just run whatever course they have for you and the total distance is three miles.  They give you name tags and when you come through the little finish line they take your name tag and put it next to what place you finished in. You’re racing the other schools.
To keep fit, every day we have practice from 4:30-6 and we run at least a total of three miles and one day of the week we run four miles.  We do stretches first  so we keep our muscles strong and don’t hurt ourselves running and it helps us not get cramps.   We run around the entire school once or twice so we go around the whole campus.
Our coaches are the Anacayas.  They always make sure we have plenty of everything.  At every meet they provide sports drinks, water, snacks, to keep us going.  And they help drive kids home that live around the neighborhood.  They’ll motivate us, like during the meets we can distinctly hear their voices telling us, ‘stay with this person, ‘ or ‘run faster,’ or, ‘you can do this! Finish strong!’
We’ve done fundraising and we hope to go out with our team after the last meet.
As a Native American of the Agua Caliente Band of Indians, I’ve gone to many conferences and I’ve heard people talk about how Native Americans aren’t portrayed as runners, but before there were cars, or even horses, our people were known to be runners, and they could run up to ten miles to hunt animals for food.
I want to catch up to Mia.  She’s a really good runner!  She runs a lot and has a hill by her house and she’ll run every day in the morning just to keep her record. She’s now the record holder with nineteen minutes for three miles, for this school! I definitely want to keep up with her!
-Justice Galindo (contributed by Mrs. Nelson)
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