Frights, fun and runs

One week before the Cross Country regular season ended, the Convent and Stuart Hall team loaded a couple of buses and made the journey down to Walnut, California to run in the renowned Mt. SAC Invitational, and to enjoy some team bonding. This year marked the 74th year of the race and the 19th year of the school attending. 

Hosted at Mt. San Antonio College, the invitational attracts more than 13,000 runners and 470 teams. With that many people, excitement and running times reach new heights.

“When you’re there in the crowd, you can really feel the energy in the air,” senior William Brentani said. “It is great to be able to see so many people with a common interest interacting with each other.” This was Brentani’s third year attending the event after it was canceled in 2020 due to COVID-19. 

Hot temperatures reaching above 80 degrees Fahrenheit and a hilly terrain make the 5 kilometer course an ultimate test of the cross country team’s progress according to Brentani. 

The freshman team placed second in their heat and the Junior Varsity team placed third in theirs. 

While the race is the main reason for taking a seven-hour bus ride down south, the biggest highlight is the team bonding and the highly anticipated trip to Six Flags Magic Mountain. 

“My favorite part of the trip was the bus ride down,” said freshman Julian Anderson. “We played video games, which was a great way for all the freshmen to get to know each other a little better.”

“Going to Six Flags as a whole team is definitely a unique experience and is tons of fun,” Sophomore Joaquin Vazquez said. “Because it’s the Halloween season, Six Flags had FrightFest with a bunch of Halloween decorations and scare actors trying to give everyone a fright.” 

After the long bus ride and a pasta dinner in the park, everyone made their way to the hotel and got ready for the race the next day, according to Anderson. The next morning, the whole team got back on the bus for Mt. San Antonio College to run and cheer on their teammates. 

At the end of the meet, the cross country team bussed to another hotel to prepare for the night at Six Flags. teammates were up early the next morning for another bus ride home, which was noticeably more quiet than the ride down, according to Vazquez.

“All of the fun we had on the trip led to a great time to bond with our teammates, and offered a break from our busy schedules of school, IB and college work,” Brentani said.