The appropriately named Bobcats ran undefeated in the recently completed four-meet season against Excelsior, Adams, Delta Vista and O’Hara Park middle schools. The sixth-graders run a 1.5-mile course, while the seventh and eighth graders navigate two miles on varied terrain – Edna Hill’s course is along a portion of the Marsh Creek Trail.
Coach Philip Rodriguez, who teaches English and history, attributes his runners’ success to their good conditioning in the school’s physical education classes. “I honestly think that we hold kids accountable for their physical education at this school,” he said. “Our PE Department runs a good program. A lot of these kids come in knowing their pacers, which is a running exercise; they know their mile times. To have these kids come in ready to go like that really accounts for it.
“I have been doing this for a few years and have a set schedule and do a lot of talking to them, motivating them, trying to keep things going. The kids just work hard every day, and I guess that happens in PE and I pick up on it. Kids would run their mile and get their best time ever (in PE class), and have a (cross-country) meet after school and run another two miles and finish in first or second place. It’s great to see.”
The better Edna Hill runners include seventh-graders Giovanny Colchado, Jacob Cropper, Matthew and Timothy Drake, Hailey Schneider, Guissell Morales and sixth-grader Emily Wylie.
According to Rodriguez, cross-country is a relatively new sport at the middle school level in far East County – just three years old. It started at Delta Vista and Excelsior middle schools, expanded to the other three schools and will likely continue growing. “We had a lot more competition this year,” said Rodriguez.