Sports: Bosco Cross Country Season Comes To A Close As Seniors Reminisce

by Joseph Theisen

In the midst of a pandemic, St. John Bosco looked forward to an impressive final season for many seniors, and a bright future for the underclassmen. While abnormal, the season was memorable for seniors and upperclassmen alike.

Bosco Cross Country has recently wrapped up its season, being the final one for many notable seniors and Coach Mac could not be any prouder. Coach Mac has addressed the differences between what a regular season used to be and how the most recent season was during the pandemic. The restrictions have reminded him of the type of competition he had when he himself was a runner.

“The races are like they were twenty years ago, where you run dual meets. We’re allowed to run against only one team at a time in our league.  That’s how it was years ago, and what we’ve been doing in the past twenty years is called cluster meets, which is everybody in the league runs against everybody, all at once, and then you score it separately, but it’s kinda cool,” said Coach Mac.

While the rules of the new season were different for the runners themselves, Coach Mac clearly had experience with dual meets, which is a large reason why he was able to adapt to it so easily from a coaching standpoint. Additionally, it also gave Coach Mac and his runners a bit of a break, as it allowed them to focus on one team at time rather than multiple at once.

Although the new format is exciting, and the team has been working hard to be able to compete, the pandemic has caused challenges.  Not only is the safety of the players at risk, but their families as well. This hits close to home for Coach Mac, as he was hesitant to visit his own mother, who was at risk. To stay safe, the team took all necessary precautions and wore masks during practice.

“The kids have been exceptional, they’re everyday with the mask…it’s a different world, and I think the kids adapted to it very well.  A lot of the kids said it was a big lift to be able to just go to practice, just for two hours they got out of the house,” said Coach Mac.

Seniors like Bosco’s own Angel Vilchis finished the final race of their high school career. Angel was optimistic about the future of the team, and grateful for the time he was able to share with the people he had run with for the past four years. It ended up being a lot better than expected, as the months of practice leading up to the season were full of uncertainty and runners themselves didn’t even know if they would be able to compete.

“I think competition was different in that we viewed each race as a privilege because of how much we had trained the past 6-7 months without knowing if it was for anything. We had two freshmen come in, Andrew Perez and Aidan Aldana, put up some of the best freshman times we’ve seen in like five years. Our lead guys were consistent too and were able to get their best times because of it,” said Vilchis.

Despite being unsure whether they would be able to replicate their successes of previous seasons due to losing three of their five starting runners, the Cross Country time had a great season behind the stellar performances of the underclassmen. Needless to say, they were able to meet the moment fully.

Considering the fact that Vilchis most likely will not run in college, this final season was that much more important to him. The cross country team finished the season with an impressive 4-1 record with its only loss being losing a close one to JSerra. Coach Mac is already looking at the bright side as he is preparing for the spring track season being right around the corner and new athletes are currently being encouraged to join.

“Track starts in four weeks, if you’re not doing anything, get out, and come out to track,” Coach Mac pleaded.

Hopefully, Coach Mac and the track team are able to replicate the successes of the Cross Country team. If they are able to do so, it would provide outgoing track seniors to share some final memories with their teammates at Bosco.

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