|Last year, the Einstein boys qualified for the state meet for the first time in decades. This year the Einstein girls made that same leap. Despite the momentum they are gaining, Coach Eric DaSilva still regularly works on the confidence of his runners to help them believe that they can run at the highest level.|
"We are continuing to focus our attention on getting out and believing that we can run with the best teams and the best runners."
The Solomon twins and freshman Tracy Morales have been an outstanding compliment to long time running junior Sisi Reid. Expect Einstein to be more than just a back of the pack team in this break out year for the Titans.
|Similar to the girls team, the Damascus boys won their first regional title in years thanks to a focus on pack running as opposed to individuals. Youngblood explains that it is their 1-6 time spread, not 1-5, that is key to their success. |
"We want our 6th runner near our fifth runner with the other teams' 4th," explains Youngblood.
Despite losing their star runner Wil Zahorodny, the Damascus pack led by Thomas Arias should improve on last year's fifth place finish. Atholton will be tough to beat with their two big guns and strong back up pack, but Damascus should be able to pack it in in front of the other teams. They could be anywhere from 1st to 5th depending on where their pack lands.
This week has been very status quo for the defending 3A State Champions.|
Says Young, "We really try to keep things simple the week before big meets. We keep the same routine at practice and our workouts are assigned very similarly to how they are the entire season to make it feel like it's just another week."
The B-CC boys team is not as loaded as it was last year, but Young says they are shooting to win the state title anyways.
"I know that seems very matter of fact, but this sport is very simple, run fast."
Expect an improved performance from the regional meet with junior Eric Damtoft running well and senior Matt Davey-Karlson possibly bouncing back, but B-CC will need more than they have had lately just to crack back into the top five this year.
|The Einstein boys eased into the state championship for the second consecutive year despite graduating their strong top two duo from last year. They are a young team with only one senior. With that youth comes inconsistency and a lot of untapped potential.|
Says Dasilva, "I really want to see the boys put a race together where everyone maxes out. Iíve yet to see it this season."
If that happens, a top ten finish could be possible. DaSilva works up an individual race plan for each of his runners with a common thread of "belief." Each runner must believe that he can do what is necessary to succeed individually and as a team.
What set Paint Branch apart from the rest of the 3A West Region is their #1 runner Hayder Cherinet, whose 12th place finish was nearly two minutes ahead of their #2 runner. Just a sophomore, he only joined the Paint Branch program during outdoor track last spring, but has made all the difference for his cross country team.|
"Oh it means so much to me my team, my coaches, even our school. To represent Paint Branch at states this year is a wonderful feeling knowing that it has been a while since we qualified as a team, and we are looking forward to running at states and giving it all we got."
The Paint Branch boys have not qualified for the cross country state meet since 2004 where they finished 21st out of 21 teams. They hope to stay out of the basement and finish in the top half of the 3A field at this year's meet.
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|Go PB! Represent the Alums.|