The Orange Lutheran boys and girls cross country teams are ready to hit the trail as they kick off their season this week by heading up to Pasadena for the 2019 Cool Breeze Invitational.
New Lancer head coach Kristen Goossens is now at the helm of the program, and her goals for the runners this year are centered around the often challenging mental side of the sport.
“My number one goal is for them to become mentally tougher runners,” says Goossens. “We want to train the kids so that regardless of the situation that they are in, they’ve experienced it before, they’ve had to push through it and it’s not going to be foreign to them. Secondly, I want our kids to know that they’ve trained really hard so that when they step on that starting line, they should be able to look left and right and say these people did not work as hard as I did, and I have a competitive edge over anyone else who is standing on this line.”
Some measurable goals for both groups include a strong Trinity League finish and advancing to the CIF state championship meet, and it is Goossens’ belief that every member of the team plays a role in the achievement of these objectives.
Returning All-League runners senior Garrett Boezinger, juniors Sophia Gutierrez and Nicole Meyer and sophomores Sofia Gibson and Lolo Landrith are joined by an exciting group of up-and-coming runners including sophomores Noah Lockwood and Ethan Pacholl and freshmen Tayne Patel, Joshua Wonderlick, Jackson Schaller and Caroline Kargenian.
After full summer of training, including a week-long high elevation camp at Big Bear Lake, the Lancers are ready to tackle their season with the mindset that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
“I just want to bring the team together and make sure that they run for more than just themselves,” says Goossens. “I want them to become more mindful about what they do, more knowledgeable about the sport…and become students of the sport. I think that automatically helps them become better athletes.”