Student Column: Cross country goes to state

L-R: Jonathan Bustamante, Coach Vickers, And Orlando Isiordia

This year’s outstanding cross-country team has undergone extreme training in order to beat their competition and personal records (PRs). Their training ranged anywhere between running from Granger to Sunnyside, to sprinting hills in the coldest of weather, and being bungeed to the fastest team runners. This was done while establishing a strong bond and encouraging each other to rise above the challenges they faced. The team’s training paid off when almost all of the members beat their personal records at Districts. Despite the team’s hard work and accomplishment, only two runners were able to make it to state this year.

Orlando Isiordia, one of Granger’s two state runners, shared his thoughts on the opportunity of going to the state competition, “Hard work does really pay off, and for a Hispanic to make a change in a school, just like the movie McFarland, is pretty crazy. You never know what kind of power a Hispanic or Latino has.” Isiordia drew inspiration from the movie McFarland, a movie based on a low-income school’s cross country team, and how the Hispanic runners on that team made history in California. Isiordia placed 85th in a race of 112 runners, he goes on to say that this isn’t the end, he will be back stronger and faster next year as a senior.

Jonathan Bustamante, Granger’s second state runner, also shared his opinion on the chance to go to state, “I was really excited and nervous, with many mixed emotions. It was an amazing privilege to be able to go to state this year, though lonely without the rest of the team. But I’m still grateful to run with Orlando.” Bustamante, a senior, expressed how serious the sport was for him, and how it paid off when he accomplished his goal of going to state for his final year. Bustamante placed 92 in this year’s state race. The two Granger runners represented their community full-heartedly and were received with congratulations and celebrations by friends and family, marking the end of this year’s cross-country team at GHS.

Celit Campista-Bustamante is a Granger High School senior in the English Composition 131 class taught by Ms. Stephanie King for the University of Washington.

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