CEDAR CITY – A healthy combination of youth and experience will define the 2014 season for the Canyon View cross country team.
Looking to improve on a third-place finish at last year’s state meet and a second-place outing in Region 9, the Lady Falcons bring an attitude of positivity and are ready to make another run.
“We have a lot of talented girls and we all just really want to do it,” Canyon View senior Sydney Hulet said. “We just need to run as a team and stick close to each other.”
Hulet is one of the stronger links in Canyon View’s chain and will be a solid team leader alongside fellow senior Judy Flamenco.
The pair finished 37th and 45th respectively at state in 2013 and helped the Falcons finish just ahead of Stansbury to earn a spot on the podium.
Aside from running, Flamenco said her other job this year is to help keep some of the younger runners on the team motivated.
“I try to encourage the girls while we’re racing by, telling them, ‘Come on, you can do this, don’t give up,'” she said, adding that at the same time, she has to keep herself inspired. “Whenever there’s someone in front of me I just keep telling myself that I have to catch up to them. My motivation is just to catch them, and when I do, I keep going.”
The Falcons said they know Region 9 is tough, and they are well aware the road won’t be easy.
Hulet said the key to winning is staying positive and not letting herself be intimidated.
“There are a lot of good (runners) out here in Region 9,” she said. “You just have to focus on yourself and not worry about what the other runners are doing.”
The boys’ side of the team constitutes the youth with a bevy of sophomores trying to best a fifth-place 2013 region finish.
“We look forward to seeing if we can improve over last year,” head coach Lisa Baker said. “We’ve got a lot more depth in our team this year, and they are improving.”
Most of Baker’s 2013 squad is returning, and she said the boys are making strides with their ability to work together.
“They are all unified, they all have the same goal, and they work hard as a group,” she said.
The season lasts about two months and features eight events — four of which will take place in Cedar City.
The remaining four contests at Hurricane, Dixie, Salem Hills and Snow Canyon will fill in the gaps before the Region 9 meet at Bloomington Hills on Oct. 14 and the state meet in Salt Lake City on Oct. 22.
Flamenco said the team’s unity will help carry them through.
“We are such a good team,” she said. “We’re together all the time and we’re like best friends. We know we can do it.”