The student news site of Oviedo High School in Oviedo, FL

Oviedo Journalism

The student news site of Oviedo High School in Oviedo, FL

Oviedo Journalism

The student news site of Oviedo High School in Oviedo, FL

Oviedo Journalism

The Lions make a run for it

Oviedo’s Runners kick off their champion at the Seminole Athletic Conference Championships
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Dave Tibbetts
Oviedo’s cross country team huddles in preparation for the first of their champion season.

This week, Oviedo High School’s cross country team crossed the line with the title of second place all- Seminole Athletic Conference (SAC). The SAC Championship at Lake Mary High school was a meet that the team had been preparing for over the past few weeks, marking the start of the postseason. 

This meet was filled with some of the top teams in the state. Oviedo’s boys were surrounded by runners from Hagerty and Lake Mary, both in the top 30 teams in the state. Oviedo’s girls competed with Lake Mary, Lake Brantley, and Winter Springs, all sizable competition for Oviedo’s runners. 

This meet, the boys varsity and JV raced first at 7:30am and the varsity and JV girls followed right after at 8:00am. This 3.1 mile, 3 lap course was described as a ‘fast course’ by the runners, who raced there at the Mike Gibson Summertime Run in the preseason. This means that despite the pain and struggle of the race, the course felt very quick and fast moving, a huge asset for these runners.

Senior James Unwin touched on the speed of this course. “ I was hoping to gain some experience of fast competition and racing in the front,” said Unwin. For Oviedo’s runners the opportunity to run on a fast course is essential to their ability to move forward and obtain personal records in the coming races.  

Despite the advantage of a fast course, the team had to face their fair share of struggles this race. Senior varsity runner Maya Cabal said, “I think my biggest obstacle was not letting those doubts creep into my head, you know, just kind of pushing them to the side and feeling ‘okay, I’m feeling really good and I’m just gonna go and I’m gonna see what happens’ and it turned out good for me.” 

The struggle of doubting their ability is a common theme seen among not only Oviedo’s runners, but most runners in this sport.

“ The biggest challenge in the race was pushing through the pain and ‘pulling the trigger’ as Coach Joe says,” said sophomore top runner Colin Asyun. 

A third athlete discussed the mental struggle of the race, stating, “My biggest challenge during this race was probably trying to keep a good mindset,” said senior Hannah Atwell. “Especially during the 2nd mile being able to tell myself that I can finish this race and I can PR and I can push myself to run faster.”

Despite the obstacles of this race, Oviedo’s athletes pushed through and placed highly. From the boys side, Oveido’s top athletes are now entering into the threshold of low 16 minute 5ks at the front of the pack. A goal this team hadn’t accomplished until Sac.

“It felt great breaking 16:30 for the first time and making All Conference,” said Aysun. “I was pleased with our standings in the conference, placing second for the boys and girls.” 

Another accomplished goal for this team came from the girl’s side of things. For the girls, beating Winter Springs had felt almost out of reach until Sac changed their perspective. “We’ve always had them as kind of like this obstacle to get over and we’ve just been beating them recently. It’s been really rewarding as a team, and I feel like that race, the team dynamic really came together as we head into championship season.”

As a team, the idea of a ‘champion season’ continues to arise with these runners. But what is ‘champion season’, and what does it mean for these runners? 

“For me, champion season is a way for our team to show how much work we’ve put in for this sport and it allows us to race against the most competitive teams in Florida,” said sophomore Aysun.

According to another runner, “Championship season means that I get that opportunity to beat my PRs and to run stupid and as fast as I possibly can and leave everything I’ve got on the course,” said senior Hannah Atwell. 

This week, the boys team set seven personal records run by Colin, Aiden and Brody Aysun, James Unwin, Aidan Zahn, Stone Wang and Jared Fredell. The girls team had six personal records from Hannah Atwell, Soleil Schnoor, Audrey Wood, Loren Blumfield, Kaitlan Saydah, Milaniz Petrovich and 3 season’s best by Gabriella Decesare, Lilly Johnson, and Riley Sanderson. Both teams won second all-conference and the team as a whole had 3 athletes place in the top ten: sophomores Aiden and Colin Aysun, and senior Maya Cabal. 

The girls team also jumped from 17th to 14th place in the state out of 123 teams. 

“Getting towards the end of the season it’s been hard because I’m coming down to my final meets before I graduate,” said senior Hannah Atwell. “It’s really made me feel so lucky that I’ve gotten to run for 4 years on this team and gotten to make so many different memories”. 

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