Cross-Country is one of the most accomplished sports at Chaparral High School. The team has earned district titles and they have once again been selected to state playoffs.
Coach Pedro Ruiz has been coaching Cross-Country at CHS since 2007. “It’s amazing how long it has been… almost 10 years,” said Coach Ruiz. Cross-Country is not the only sport Coach Ruiz is involved and dedicated to, he introduced Tennis to lobo land in 2014.
This Cross- Country season, there were a total number of 21 runners, the largest group of runners Coach Ruiz has ever had. The captains of the 2017 season were Jesse Vasquez (senior), Marlene Olivas (junior) and Adriana Hernandez (junior).
“I had a lot of new runners this year and a lot of under classmen…the beginning of the season the runners were not at their best, they were slow and inexperienced,” said Coach Ruiz. With these new runners, Coach Ruiz knew there would come new challenges along the way. At the beginning of the season, some of the difficulties the new runners had were “learning how to pace at a race.”
But by mid-season the runners had improved their time drastically, “The group really came together, I saw a lot of improvement… these new freshmen and sophomore runners they just started getting better, better times… by the end of the season their times have dropped significantly ,” said Coach Ruiz.
The Cross-Country team was able to qualify to state, “both boys and girls qualified for state, we got 3rd place in district which qualifies everybody to go,” said Coach Ruiz.
“Eat right, breathe and well just run… I advise upcoming runners to grow up because cross-country is not only a sport of just running, you teach other people how to respect everyone,” said Jesse Vasquez one of the team’s captain. He advices next year’s runners to always try their best and never give up, the dedication and hard work is the key to success. “One of the greatest memories I have from all four years of cross-country are the overnights…” said Vasquez, an overnight is when the whole cross-country team stay at school overnight for the team to bond and create unforgettable memories.