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The Student News Site of Rock Ridge High School


The Student News Site of Rock Ridge High School


The Student News Site of Rock Ridge High School


Cross Country Races Towards Districts

On Thursday, Oct. 26, the cross country district meet took place at Woodgrove High School, with many students district qualifiers competing against the county to be eligible for the regionals tournament.
Aline Gonzalez
As the cross country season comes to an end, team members managed to qualify for districts. Although it was the first time the boys made it to districts, senior Ayush Marwaha still treated the meet like any other. “The atmosphere has always been crazy at the meet,” Marwaha said. “The adrenaline rush is always insane, but I feel like I’ve gotten used to it. Before every meet, I always tell myself to try and be calm.”

As the runners bent one foot in front of the other and their nerves hit record highs, they waited for “on your marks,” bracing themselves for the bang of the starting gun. 

High schools from all across Loudoun County got together for the Cross Country District Meet on Oct. 26 at Woodgrove High School, with a few Phoenix runners getting the opportunity to feel the adrenaline rush of competing at the next level. 

Before each meet, athletes prepare during practice and try to do their best to win. The practice before districts was no different. However, senior Ayush Marwaha has his own personal routine aside from what he does at practice. “The night before [a meet], I’ll meditate and visualize myself doing well,” Marwaha said. “I just make sure I’m doing well and get enough sleep.”

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As the teams who qualified for districts arrived at Woodgrove High School two hours before the meet started, they warmed up to get used to the course beforehand. Freshman Advik Baiju prepared with his team by running laps and staying hydrated before the race began. “Some people walk and jog the course just to get their heart rate up before [a race], [and some] run some strides right before the race,” Baiju said.  “[You] just give it your all and that’s just how it is.” 

Graphic by Aline Gonzalez and Arnav Mahajan.

Even though the boys team didn’t do as well as they expected to do at districts, the athletes have high hopes for next year. Marwaha believes that because it was the first time the athletes made it to districts, the nerves got to them. “I feel like as a team we all could’ve done better,” Marwaha said.  “The district meet for the boys was actually the first time we had a district meet. The team wasn’t used to it, but I feel [like] in the future, they’ll be great.”

Other members of the cross country team also felt like the team overall could have performed better compared to their previous meets; however, the meet did have some successes. Sophomore Arya Lele managed to break his PR (personal record) during the meet. “My time was 19 minutes and 20 seconds, I think I improved my PR by over two [minutes], which is a lot,” Lele said. “During districts, I think I was the only one who improved their PR.”

Even if the team didn’t do as expected, they were still proud of how they made it to districts this year. Biology teacher and cross country coach Michael Johnson congratulated the athletes and rewarded them for their season. “For this [meet], he rewarded us,” Baiju said. “He gave us candy, cupcakes and everything, because districts are at the end of the season, too.”

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About the Contributors
Aline Gonzalez
Aline Gonzalez, Staff Writer
Aline is a junior at Rock Ridge High School and this is her second year on staff. Aline joined newspaper because she has a deep passion for journalism and plans to pursue a career in this field. Aline also has an interest in the law field and would also like to become a lawyer. Aline has many hobbies ranging from reading, drawing, painting, to playing video games with her friends and family. She likes to play football in her free time with her friends. Aline looks forward to making lots of new friends this year.
Arnav Mahajan
Arnav Mahajan, Staff Writer
Arnav Mahajan is a freshman and it's his first year on the newspaper staff. He joined the newspaper because he has a strong passion for writing, which he uses to express himself. His main style of writing is argument and opinion-based pieces. He's looking forward to getting good work done and meeting the rest of the staff. When he’s not writing, he enjoys playing sports and video games, especially puzzle-based ones. He’s so excited to be part of the staff this year.
Bella Gerardi
Bella Gerardi, Staff Writer
Bella Gerardi is a junior and this is her third year on staff. She has always enjoyed writing and found a passion in it specifically in middle school.  In the future, she plans to go to George Mason and major in Journalism and Communications to continue her passion for writing. Bella plays lacrosse for the school as a defender. Her favorite hobbies include drawing, playing music, reading, cooking with friends, and watching movies

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