Brookwood Boys Cross Country at State for first time since 2014

This weekend the top high school runners compete at State cross country, and for the ninth time in program history and first since 2014, Brookwood boys cross country will be there.

Head coach Mindy Waddell says this group is far and away above any of the previous three teams she’s coached to State, in large part because the top runners all finish so close together in races.

In last week’s sectional race, their top four guys all were in the top 15, separated by mere seconds.

With that team-centered mindset, they’ve overcome the odds of even having a fall season–originally the school was going to allow them to run only two races–and they are excited to show what they can do at State.

“We do love to stick together, and we push each other while running,” senior Roberto Mendoz said. “We see each other in front of us and are like, we have to catch up.”

“It’s really important to have that span of runners really close to each other, and the fact that we are is fabulous,” fellow senior Cristian Barrientos said.

“There were a lot of times where we lost some of our runners, we didn’t know who was going to be at practice, some people were just gone and we had to guess if they were sick or gone or whatever,” senior Nick Friske said, “but obviously, in the end it turned out okay, and it’s really exciting to be here despite all that. And if you ask me, I think it just brought us together a little bit more.”

And what also brings them together is their fun-loving personalities, exhibited most clearly in their good-luck cow skull they found on one of their runs, which they’ve named Otis.

Brookwood and the rest of D3 compete at Maple Grove in West Salem Saturday morning.