BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Thirteen cross country runners from the Lamont School District have returned from competition in Tennessee.
The 13 students from the Lamont School District are back from competing in the Amateur Athletic Union National Cross Country Championships in Knoxville, Tennessee. An event the entire team almost missed but because of the generosity from the community they made it and even came back with a few trophies.
“We just came back from the cross country national championships in Tennessee,” Maria Gonzalez the Lamont cross country coach said. “We got to run and cheer on the kids for their cross country race. They all had a lot of fun. They all won, they all did amazing, they all finished, they all tried their best and they can all attest to that. So they all were winners.”
The national championship had about 500 racers per division. The Lamont kids competed in a variety of 1, 2 and 3 kilometer races. Three children from Lamont’s team placed in the top 25 runners for their divisions.
“I’m just really amazed that I made it,” Mia Lopez one of Lamont’s Top 25 runners said.
“It feels good,” Yamanik Garcia one of Lamont’s Top 25 runners said.
One of those three runners was awarded the All-American medal for placing in the top 8 for their division. Osvaldo Loano placed seventh out of about 500 racers.
Others expressed how happy and special this event was to them. Not only did they go just for the race but because of the donations they were able to have fun with extra curricular activities in the area.
“I feel very emotional because at the end I started crying because I haven’t seen my family in that many days and I didn’t really expect it,” a Lamont runner said. “I’m really happy that my friends and family supported me for all this and during the time I was practicing and everything.”
“Whenever I heard the [starting gun] and everything the anxiety went away and after the race I felt proud I was done with the race and everything,” Rodrigo Guerra one of the Lamont runners said.
The trip would not have been possible without the help from the community. The team thanks all of their supports and said the team was able to go bowling, have delicious meals, and take a tour of the University of Tennessee during the trip. The team was also able able to get sweatshirts with the names of everyone who participated in the national championship race.
The team plans to do something to thank everyone for all the kind donations.
Overall, the girls’ teams finished with a total of 73 points. Team members placed 8, 14, 15, 16 and 20. The boys’ team finished 2nd overall with a total of 79 points. Team members placed 4, 9, 19, 21 and 26.