Cross country runners compete at Sectionals


Senior Armani Diaz and junior Nicole Brown compete at Sectionals.

Cross country stood out this fall as two runners qualified for the Sectional cross country meet on Saturday, October 30.

Junior Nicole Brown and senior Armani Diaz both qualified. They won Regionals and earned a spot at Sectionals, which is a huge accomplishment.

Even though Diaz missed State, he was glad he got as far as he did.

“I felt relieved and happy to make Sectionals. I wish I made State like how I have before, but I can’t get mad at the past. I just have to move on,” Diaz said.

Diaz has inspired many of his teammates to push themselves to the limit. One of his teammates, junior Sophia Barszcz, explained how helpful he is to her and the team.

“Armani pushes me every day. We hang out outside of school and cross country, and he’s as good of a friend as he’s a runner,” Barszcz said.

Diaz has been training hard ever since he was a little kid. He knows how to keep in shape and maintain his body so he is ready for races and practices.

“I carb load, stretch and roll my legs, and drink plenty of water,” Diaz said.

He’s a strong runner. Cross country isn’t easy, and it takes extreme endurance. The longest distance Diaz has ever run is twelve miles. If Sectionals does not prove he’s a powerhouse when it comes to running, twelve miles definitely will.

Diaz wasn’t the only runner to make Sectionals, as Nicole Brown also earned a spot.

“Nicole is a great runner. I’m excited to see how far she gets in the future,” Barszcz said.

Brown’s times and her accomplishments racing show how much she puts into practices and how hard she needs to work to get through challenging workouts.

“Positive talk and trusting in my training helps me get through tough runs,” Brown said.

The desire for running cross country for Brown goes way back when she was in middle school. She was influenced by her friends to join the team, and since then she’s been dedicated to the sport.

“In fifth grade my friend was doing cross country, so I decided to join too,” Brown said.

Like Diaz, Brown is also a leader on the team who helps her teammates be better by being a good role model during meets and practices.

“Nicole motivates me to be a better runner. I love the way she’s dedicated to be great,” Barszcz said.

The way Brown prepares for a run is to trust in her training and to believe in herself.

“I try my best to keep a positive mindset before a run. It’s important for me to believe in myself to gain confidence,” Brown said.

Diaz and Brown are both multisport athletes, participating in cross country, indoor track, and spring track.

They both wanted to try something different and tried out for cross country, and it became one of their passions.