Irvington cross country ends the season strong at MVALS


Arsalan Mughal

Irvington cross country runners Grant Nguyen (12), Edward Le (10), Travis Churchill (12), Jagbir Sandhu (12), and Katharine Ong (11) (right – left) proudly display their Viking pride at MVALS

Tanisha Singh and Radhika Munshani

Irvington’s cross country team culminated a competitive season with a strong showing at the annual Mission Valley Athletic League Championships (MVALs) at Quarry Lakes on Thursday, Nov. 10. Irvington’s athletes ran among students from Mission, Moreau, Logan, American, Washington, Kennedy and Newark Memorial in the frosh/soph, junior varsity, and varsity divisions in both the 2 and 3 mile races. The event saw many new personal records (PR’s) among athletes as well as new opportunities for bonding among the team.

In preparation for the big culmination to the season, athletes saw changes in practice and training. Runners focused on tapering instead of times as race-day grew near. Senior Humza Khan explained, “Since you’ve already reached your peak potential about ⅞ of the way through the season, the last week is focused on tapering, in which we mainly maintain that potential rather than build up the stamina.” The strategy seemingly proved successful, as Irvington placed fourth overall at the meet.

Aside from the overall results from the team, many athletes reported running personal record, or PR, times. For example, sophomore Myrthe Bellers ran a time of 18:04 in the 3 mile varsity girls race.

The scores were also commended by the team’s coach with consideration that Irvington had a very young team competing at this meet.

“One word to describe this team is definitely passion,” said Coach David. “This season, considering we were a very young team, went really well. Next year, is a very exciting year with all the talent that came out. We had over 20 members that had never run cross country before.”

As always, the season resulted in strong bonds within the team which were evident on race-day. Khan further explained, “The unity and bonds inspired by this team is second to none.”

The sentiment was echoed by freshman Valerie Tai, who explained how teammates motivated one another before events: “Each of the divisions have talks before the race. We have these pep talks before the races to help motivate everyone and get everyone pumped.”

Overall the team ended off the season strong and finished off the meet with the traditional squirrel song. All the schools joined in the celebrations and cheered their fellow teammates on for their successful showings at the meet.