Members of coach Chuck Warren’s SRHS cross country teams train hard, run hard and enjoy camaraderie. (courtesy of Chuck Warren)
Cross country team builds on past success
By Tawny McCray
With his teams having made it to the state championships the past two years in a row, Scripps Ranch High School cross country coach Chuck Warren said he’s looking forward to another competitive – yet fun – season.
It kicks off on Sept. 6 with the first invitational meet at Rohr Park. Practice officially started the first week of August, but Warren said most of the students are so dedicated they train all summer long. They work out Mondays through Fridays, with many of them running on the weekends as well.
“This time of the year our top varsity kids are running 50 miles a week,” Warren said.
He said his cross-country teams average 120 kids a year, and are comprised of girls JV and varsity teams, and boys JV and varsity teams. Any and all students are welcome to join.
“We don’t cut kids, that’s not my philosophy,” Warren said. “If somebody is willing to run, why would you want to cut somebody? My philosophy is if they show up to practice on time, every day, they have a good attitude, and give 100 percent in the races and the meets, they’re on the team.”
Along with both the boys and girls teams making it to the state championships in Fresno the last two years, the boys have been league champions the last five years and the girls have been league champions four out of the last five years, Warren said. That’s no small feat, especially considering that in 2016 the team moved from the Eastern League to the more competitive Western League, where they face powerhouse rivals including Cathedral Catholic, UC and Coronado High schools.
“Every year we want to put ourselves in a position to be contenders to win the league championship and the ultimate goal is to send our teams to the state meet,” he said.
Warren said they had a lot of seniors on the team who graduated last school year, so this year’s team is relatively young. He said some of the top runners who are favorites to win league this year include, on the boy’s side, juniors Giancarlo Da Silva and Caden Farrow; and on the girl’s side, senior Julia Kiersnowski and juniors Emily Brown and Delphine Maurer.
Maurer said this will be her third year running cross country and her goals are to beat her times from previous years and for the team to have a positive environment.
“I enjoy being on the cross-country team because of the fellowship between the runners,” Maurer said. “Everyone on the team is supportive of each other and I have made many friends by joining.”
She said coach Warren is a good, easy-going coach who is always available to listen to his runners.
“He is very knowledgeable about running and that shows in the workouts that he plans for us and the advice that he gives,” Maurer said.
Warren said the majority of the team’s key interval workouts are done away from the school, at nearby Jerabek Park or other community parks, where it’s more of a cross country environment instead of just going on the track. For their Saturday workouts, which he said are mandatory for varsity runners, they go to different locations like Mission Bay Park and Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve, to help make it more interesting.
“Running can get boring and tedious and we want to keep them motivated, so we go to different locations,” he said.
Warren said he also likes to let the runners cut loose by doing fun things like a planned beach bonfire and small dinner parties the night before most meets.
“We want to be competitive, but we also want to make it fun for the kids,” he said. “I want to show these kids that I care. If you show them that, a lot of these kids will run through walls for you.”