Posted by KING HIGH CROSS COUNTRY on Nov 07 2019 at 12:39PM PST

Written by Jenna Bernath (’20)

Coach Brad Peters constantly reminds his athletes that team chemistry is the most important aspect of a team because it is not the PRs that get remembered, it is the memories with teammates that live on for a lifetime.

The Big VIII League Finals held at Riverside’s Andulka Park on Wednesday, brought out some impressive times for the Wolves, but it also showcased the team’s bond. From the pre-race huddles to the post-race “Wolfpack” cheer and all the great running in between, the Wolves displayed what it means to be a King High athlete.

On the JV boy’s side, the Wolves continued their pack running technique with the first 4 runners finishing within 20 seconds of each other. Those four, Jonathan Weaver, John Wangari, and Jack Slavin earned course personal records (PR) as well as number 5, Bohdin Rush, who PR’d by 9 seconds. All of these boys, including Julian Morgan who ran a fantastic race and freshman Damien Zemanek, earned themselves medals to take home; Damien snatching the last one with a 21st place finish. Adrian Flores, Luke Stokes, Ben Heick, and Matthew Gwynn also ran significant PRs running around 1 minute faster than their previous best.

The boys’ Varsity had a similar story with almost the entire squad of seven running PRs and earning patches. Mitchell Machuca led the squad and was followed by Francisco Zavaleta and breakout freshman John Gathuu. Austin Fortenberry and Edgar Ortega rounded out the squad and solidified the boys’ second place finish. Before the race, sophomore Gray Mavhera felt that the boys would either have their worst or best league meet and thankfully the boys finally had all their good days on the same day, something they had been waiting for and working together for all season.

The girls team didn’t see nearly the amount of PRs that the boys had but they displayed the same camaraderie. The girl’s JV was a race that could have been seen in a movie. Freshman Andreya Goodson led the pack with a 3rd place finish with Justine Marshall coming in shortly after. Emily Richmond, Ashlyn Richmond, and Mariah Ngo had remarkable races coming down the finishing stretch together. Emily and Mariah both took home PRs from their performances. All of these ladies earned hardware to take home as well. Andrea Guadian also had a great race looking very strong throughout the 2.9 mile course.

The Varsity girls would be the first to tell you it wasn’t their best day but they all ran together, finally getting a little racing pack that they had been working for every race this season. Jocelynn Stevenson came in first for the squad followed by Jenna Bernath and Victoria Gonzalez who ran side by side for a good chunk of the race. Evenie Fuentes and Audrey Brunken rounded out the scoring five putting forth their best efforts. Joanie Green’s asthma gave her some trouble causing her to be behind her normal position which was disappointing for the entire squad, but the friendship between the girls kept them in the race. Evenie Fuentes explained: “The rush of energy Victoria, Jenna, and I felt when we saw Joanie slow down shows just how close we all are.”

What all the King athletes saw at the Finals was what Coach Brad Peters actually means when he issues his constant reminders on team chemistry. King wasn’t the fastest team despite their amazing races and efforts but they definitely were the most closely bonded and at the end of the day that’s what counts most. No matter how fast they all ran, they all ran “today’s PR” as Camille Bradford put it and they did it together.

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