Saturday, September 3rd; it’s seven A.M., and the Redlands East Valley cross country team is huddled around the tent, lacing the chip timers into their shoes and mentally going over the three-mile race that lies ahead. This race, a run that leads racers around and across Colton High School, marks the beginning of the cross country season, being the first invitational of the year, and the first time this year’s team will run against another team. The team’s been training hard ever since the year began – and some even earlier – and they’re anxious to run their races.
The first race – freshman girls – comes and goes with a few mishaps but otherwise good results. As the day goes on, REV racks up strong wins from Samantha Aguilar (senior), Elias Opsahl (junior), and Matt Casillas (freshman). “The race was fun and exciting and I’m looking forward to all the races to come,” says Cole Cooper (freshman).
The top five boys times of the day were as follows: Elias Opsahl – 15:17; Matt Casillas – 16:44; Jacob Dooley – 17:01; Zane Blum – 17.01; and Joseph Gastelum – 17.11. The top five times for girls were: Samantha Aguilar – 18:14; Erin Robles – 19:09; Caitlin Miller – 20:45; Daniella Bohner – 21:33; and Tairah Jackson – 21:42. The boys ranked second overall, and the girls third. With an overall number of nineteen top twenty-five medals, the Colton Swarm Invitational proved a successful launching pad for the season, and the Redlands East Valley team is hopeful that it indicates – and will lead to – more victories as the season goes on.