Cross Country Season Recap


YLHS Cross Country

Yorba Linda High School’s varsity girls versus Foothill.

Kayden Mandley, Photojournalist

Yorba Linda High School’s cross country season has finally come to an end as the team completed its final race on Saturday, March 8th. Like most fall sports this year, events were coordinated and delayed accordingly due to COVID-19 and CIF regulations. Nonetheless, the Yorba Linda Cross Country team still managed to make the most of their unpredictable season.


Given the circumstances that the team had to undergo, the coaches are still pleased with each runner’s performance this season. Coach Vidal (S), Yorba Linda High School’s head cross country coach, stated that “considering all things…I believe our summer camp preseason conditioning and our short race season went satisfactory.” Coach Vidal also mentioned that he appreciated each athlete that stayed determined and consistent throughout summer and fall.


Of course, what’s a sport without the grind! One of the coach’s favorite moments of the season was when they made each runner do 500 lunges during one of their practices. However, the coaches expressed that they mainly enjoyed watching each individual athlete grow into a stronger, faster runner with big smiles always on their faces, even though the season was short-lived. 


Leila Shook (12) and Kendall Cook (12), who both ran on the team all four years of high school, also shared their experiences this season. Leila and Kendall both agreed that, despite everything, they still had a great season. “I was really thankful to have an opportunity to race my senior year,” explains Leila. For a while, the team did not know if they were actually going to be able to race. Fortunately, the team managed to squeeze in a few meets before the end of the season, but races were a little different as other spectators were not allowed to watch and cheer on the runners. 


Even so, both Kendall and Leila made plenty of memories during their final season that will last them a lifetime. During their last race of the season, Kendall explained, “I remembered looking around at my team and realizing I was about to race for the last time, but I was so happy to end my high school running career with the people I was surrounded by.” Leila brought up that her favorite memory of the season was “when the varsity girls beat Brea Olinda in our dual meet. I was really proud of our performance and hard work during these unique circumstances.”


Overall, it seems that the team had, yet again, another successful season. Coach Vidal pointed out that “without COVID-19, our boys would’ve been in the CIF finals and our girls would’ve been top five in the state championship.”


Nevertheless, the season is finally over. The graduating class of 2021 will be running off into their own path towards the future as a new herd of runners begins their running career at Yorba Linda High School. “Make the most of it and really try your hardest, time flies by and you’ll wish you had more of it,” advises Kendall. Leila also wants to share with the incoming runners that “it’s super important to be patient. It can be frustrating when results aren’t seen immediately, but progress takes time and you’ll see the work come through eventually.”


Congratulations to the Yorba Linda Cross Country team for completing another outstanding season!