By Julia Galdamez
This past Wednesday, Whetstone held its annual Arrowhead Invitational. Leading up to it, runners were extremely nervous but also excited to see if personal records would be broken.
Coach Monda, Whetstone mathematics teacher, and his Cross Country team all have trained vigorously since the summertime for their special night at Whetstone. Our runners love to run and have the satisfaction of doing better each time but they also enjoy seeing friends and hearing peers cheer them on.
You may think that they are used to running, and that maybe it is easy for them because they have had plenty of practice. However, it isn’t just a piece of cake for our runners; they train harder and harder every day, getting better, faster and stronger. Fourth year senior Mariya Al-Ghawi says she has “been getting personal records each race.” All that practicing must have paid off, because it sure is giving Mariya results.
While coaching his team, as well as teaching his many math classes at Whetstone, Mr. Monda spent many hours preparing for the Invitational. The course is a 5K which is equivalent to about 3.1 miles, which Coach Monda must line, mow and measure himself.
Since the course is not mowed prior, Monda mows it all himself. 3 miles is a lot to mow as it is, but wait until you hear this: “I mow the course with a push-mower.” Not only does he have to mow it once but he has to mow the three mile course three times, “because it has to be wide enough” for the 22 teams gathered at Whetstone.
Not only did he have to prepare the course, but he had to receive all entries from the 22 teams participating. Once he receives all of the entries from the teams, he must type them into his software program and get the teams ready. Then he must get the tags ready. Coach Monda says it all when he says, “it just takes a lot of time.”
All of the preparation was worth it in the end for our Lady Braves Cross Country team. Elli Schwartz, fourth year senior and captain, placed 9th overall and went home decorated with a medal around her neck. Coach Monda said, “The girls did really well…we got a lot of PRs (personal records), seasons best and everyone improved so I was really impressed.” Good job, ladies!
Participating in athletics at Whetstone is a very fun way to stay active, meet new people, try new things, and most importantly to have fun! All the practicing must have paid off for our runners, or maybe it was some encouraging words from the Coach prior to running. Monda said before the race to our runners to “do the best you can,” as well as “beat all the city teams.”
Schwartz said Coach told her and her team to “make sure we are not just running, but racing the whole time.” Monda is always spreading encouraging words to his team. He is always happy-go-lucky, but he still makes sure they know to do the best they can and the best he knows they can. Before every race Monda tells them, “Get out hard. You can do it. See ya out there.”