Running Red, White and Blue

Cross Country Runners Share Thoughts About Running on 9/11, Future Endeavors

Maddie Cooper


Photo by Nicole Barucky

Pushing for the finish, senior and Varsity member Gareth Hopwood finishes his race at the XC Country Meet. Hopwood finished fourth with a time of 16:03, and was one of the members who ran on 9/11. “It was a cool experience to run on 9/11 with the significance of that day.” Hopwood said. “It didn’t feel too different from other races but the singing of the national anthem and the red, white, and blue course flags made an impact on me.”

Aahana Mulchandani, Reporter

The usually silent morning air was filled with cheers as the XC runners pushed for the last stretch of their runs during the 22nd Annual Cross Country Meet, placing Top 5 out of the ranked 10. 

Starting at 7:15 in the morning, the XC Meet took place on Sept. 11th and hosted over 30 schools from across the state. As Sept. 11th is an important date for many people and families, the effects of Sept. 11th are still felt to this day. Cross Country Team Coach, Chance Edwards, shared his thoughts about his mixed feelings about coaching his team on that day.

“For me specifically every September 11th hits very hard,” Edwards said. “ I was a senior in high school when it happened. And, you know everyone recalls that time from their location, what they were doing at the time, you know I can recall mine. We had a big flag up [during the meet], we had everybody saluting, and the choir was nice enough to come out there and do a nice job singing.”

Isabel Conde de Frankenberg, a sophomore and member of the Cross Country Team since her freshman year, expressed her pride and modesty while reflecting on what it felt like running on 9/11. 

“I felt like it was just an honor,” Conde de Frankenberg said. “To just be running and representing our country, I felt proud doing it.”

Not only did she dominate the High School Division 1, she also set a new course record, achieving 17 minutes and 31 seconds. With a large 1 minute gap around separating her and second place, Conde de Frankenberg shares her happiness and passion for running. 

“I felt really good about the win, and I was really excited to run,” Conde de Frankenberg said. “I’m super passionate about running and maybe I can get a scholarship with it. I accomplished winning state cross country for the 5k and winning state track for the 2 mile race. I am very proud of these accomplishments because I work hard for them!

During her freshman year, Conde de Frankenberg also racked up many accomplishments, winning the State Cross Country for the 5k Run and winning the state track for the two mile race. These feats, as she puts it, were due to her dedication and the support from her team. 

I run every single day, 6 and sometimes 7 days a week,” Conde de Frankenberg said. “Around three of those days, I have to run morning and afternoon. I spent all summer preparing and with an amazing team and support group. I couldn’t have done anything without their support.”

Despite her intensive training schedule and commitment to running, Conde de Frankenberg opened up about her pre-competition jitters.

“I get nervous before every race,” Conde de Frankenberg said. “But I mostly get excited because I know I prepared a lot during summer. I’m more excited than nervous when I run.

Gareth Hopwood, a senior and member of the Varsity Cross Country Team since his sophomore year, was another runner who won in the Boys Division, placing fourth in the HS Division 1 Boys.

“I’m happy with the results of the race,” Hopwood said. “Placing fourth with a time of 16:03, though I wish I could have made the top three. I can probably improve on sticking with the lead pack in order to place well in the future.”

Not only did he place fourth during the meet, he also has been consistently running with the Varsity team since his sophomore year. He has also been on a district championship team during the past three years of his high school career. 

“I had the opportunity to run varsity all year my sophomore year and have been on varsity since then,” Hopwood said. “ I have also been on a district championship team my freshman, sophomore, and junior year and hopefully will continue the streak this year. I also have qualified for the state meet since my sophomore year with the rest of my team.”

Although the XC Meet was done, another competition was already on the list. One of the fastest meets in the nation, the XC meet was scheduled for Sept. 18th in California, which was the biggest meet in the nation.

“Coming up this weekend, we are invited to the biggest, fastest meet in the nation and in Norco California,” Edwards said. “It should be pretty spectacular, the boys are in the sweepstakes race which is the fastest race and the girls will be in the Varsity B race.”

Sept. 11th was a very important day that impacted everyone in different ways, whether it was the runners or the coaches. Despite their own nervousness and pre-competition jitters, all the athletes put their best foot forward when they ran at the XC meet. A new record was set, the teams were proud of their results, and they’re looking forward to new and exciting events. 

“Still a lot of really good performances,” Edwards said. “The boys had a really good team score and ran really well with as a group. Also, lot of PRs, it was a really good day for us.”