Cross country goes above and beyond at invitationals

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Photo courtesy of Maria Martinez

Granada Hills Charter High School (GHC) prides itself in its excellent academic and sports programs. GHC students always apply themselves to do better and work hard to be the best whether that is in the classroom or on the field.

GHC’s cross country team is known for their excellent work ethic and hard training to push themselves to excellence. Throughout their lengthy season, the team of 75 students train an hour each day for meets and also the opportunity to compete at invitationals.

Cross country invitationals are competitions that teams travel to from all over Southern California to compete against each other and place as individual runners. Invitationals are not like traditional meets. Athletes are put into different divisions based on if they are in frosh/soph, junior varsity or varsity.

They always run approximately three miles and compete against runners from all over, for the best time. While both league meets and invitationals are team-oriented, league meets consist of fewer runners, whereas invitationals can have hundreds of runners.

“Invitationals are fun but stressful because there are more people than regular meets,” sophomore Jenna Rashkovsky said.

With the season, mid September to November, just starting GHC cross country has been to several invitationals already.

“People come from all around California to compete,” junior Quinn Garity said.

Garity has attended more than ten in the few years he has been on the cross country team.

GHC plans on attending four to five invitationals from now until November, traveling to different locations such as Stanford and Huntington Beach.

Athletes do not do any extra training during practices to prepare for invitationals, although all athletes practice after school and on weekends. Athletes tend to train by running long distances not only on the track but outside of school.

For many cross country members, going to invitationals is a nice way to spend time with their team and grow closer.

“I love running with the team because we’re all so close,” Rashkovsky said.

These athletes train hard and give 110 percent of their time and effort to work their way to the top. With another invitational right around the corner, cross country athletes are preparing for the next invitational.

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