Article By Joey Yoo
This year’s cross country team has been one of the strongest in years, with many more wins than losses. Last year’s varsity team consisted mainly of juniors, which meant they were mostly running against seniors from other schools. This year, they are competing against their own grade, which should balance the playing field.
Thomas Richter and Leon Pokrovsky are reprising their roles as captain and co-captain. The captain, Thomas Richter is the ace of the team, as he was last year. In his final meet, he got a personal record of 15:04. He also placed first in the Far East championships. Leon Pokrovsky, who is the co-captain also got his personal record this year, with a time of 15:27.
At the meets, the runners are given points based on their speed. The points are measured by the places of the runners, and the top five runners from each team are counted. For example, if a runner comes in second place, then the team would get two points. This means that the team with the least points wins. So far, JV has had three meets, and varsity has had four meets. The first meet was against Kinnick, and St. Mary’s won by 37 points. The second meet was against YIS, and St. Mary’s won by 87 points. The third meet was varsity only, and they were against ASIJ. They lost by 3 points, or 2.4 seconds. The fourth meet was against St. Maur, and St. Mary’s won by 67 points. The final meet was against Christian Academy and Yokota. St. Mary’s won against the two teams, but placed second place overall, with ASIJ winning by 1 point.
Practice is usually four times a week, and if the weather is fine or no special events come up. There are two types of training that the runners go through. One is interval training, and the other is endurance training. Interval training is running short laps quickly, and it builds stamina. Endurance running is usually a 5 kilometer run. There are two courses: the “figure 8” or “KT”. A lap of a figure 8 is approximately 2.3km, so a 5 kilometer run is 2 laps and a 400-meter loop. A lap of KT is about 1.5km, so a 5 kilometer run is 3 laps and a 400-meter loop. KT stands for “killer hill training”. Killer Hill is part of the Tama Hills course, and is very steep. This is why the “KT” is primarily made up of hills. It is harder for varsity, since sometimes they run an extra lap of whatever course we run. Even though they run an extra lap, the top varsity runners usually end up passing the top JV runners.
Most of the runners (not excluding freshmen) are returning members. The varsity roster is mostly the same, with a few exceptions. A veteran runner, who has been running since 6th grade quit this year. Rota Suzuki. A freshman has risen to fill the void: Neo Yoshii. The cross country coach, Mr. McGuire has been teaching high school science since 2001, and Cross Country since 2006.
|Runner||Guam Time (October 11th – 14th)||Far East Time (November 6th – 8th)|
|Leon Pokrovsky||17:49||Time Not Taken|
|Gaku Hamasaki||19:40||Time Not Taken|
|Tokio Takai||19:44||Did Not Attend|
|Leonardo A’De Lima||18:16||17:35|
|Jino Arai||19:02||Time Not Taken|
The team went to Guam from October 11th to October 14th and ran against schools from all over the world. Many of the schools included international schools from Tokyo, such as the American School in Japan, Christian Academy in Japan, Seisen, and Sacred Heart in Tokyo. Other schools include Okkodo, Simon Sanchez, Yongsan International School, and John F. Kennedy. The race was 5000meters, and the places of St. Mary’s runners were similar to Tama Hills races. ASIJ won with 45 points, and St. Mary’s came in second place with 57 points. In the Far East Championships took place in Misawa, and St. Mary’s placed first. They beat the second place team, Kinnick by 7 points and ASIJ by 19 points.
Their biggest rivals are Ryan Nishida from ASIJ, Jordan Van Druff from CAJ, and Hunter Lund from Zama. Jordan was a freshman last year, and he got first place once and third place at most of the other meets. This year, he came in second place every meet so far. Ryan Nishida is an ASIJ student, and has been in the top 5 runners for the past 2 years. So far this year, he has won every meet. This is Hunter Lund’s first year running, but he is in the top 5 runners.
Varsity Roster (with grade level):
Captain: Thomas Richter 12 Co-Captain: Leon Pokrovsky 12
Gaku Hamasaki 12 Tokio Takai 12 Leonardo A`De Lima 11 Jino Arai 11 Ryusei Aomi 10 Kenta Misaki 10 Neo Yoshii 9