Cross country looks to take next step

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After last season ended in the postseason for both the boy and girl squads for cross country head coach Anthony Branch, he’s looking forward to seeing further progression heading into this year.

Although informal running has been going on all summer, the team reported for their first official workout Monday at 7 a.m. and after it was all said and done, Coach Branch was pleased with what he was looking at.

“I like the numbers we’re at; I could tell this morning who’s been running and working out and who hasn’t been,” Branch said following the morning kickoff workout. “I’m excited, got a big number on the boys’ side with a chance to really develop some kids and build up the program on that side.”

For the girls, the coach was excited about a three-headed monster he brings back in Trinity Hall, Coral Becerra and Madison Manak, all of whom logged meaningful miles last year to help the girls push through to the district qualifier. He said he can see them replicating that performance.

“With those three coming back, I’m hoping we can have two more to fill a varsity spot that could be competitive and if they do, I feel the girls may have a shot to get to regionals this year,” Branch said.

Of course, that is a long way away from day one, and he reiterated his message to the team to help them stay grounded a little bit and focused on their overall mission.

“Our motto this year is to win the day,” Branch said simply. “We can’t worry about what happened last year, we learn from last year and yesterday. Yes, we have goals up there we want to chase tomorrow, but you can’t get to those unless you win today.”

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