Sahuaro’s Amazing Cross Country Team


Nicholas Cordova, SHS News Editor

Cross Country is a sport that anybody can get into if they are willing to put in the work. The meets usually take around two hours, which makes it one of the shortest compared to other sports. They have one event, a five-kilometer run which is about 3.1 miles.  They participate in two types of meets: invites and dual meets. Dual meets are the shorter of the two because they usually only have a couple of teams from the same district competing. Invites are the longer meets where teams from all over the state compete. One of the longest meets is the Desert Twilight meet where hundreds of teams from all over the country compete. The dual meets are usually hand-timed while the invites are digitally timed which allows them to track the times more accurately.

Coach Slade said, “Covid hit us hard.” Due to Covid, this year’s cross country team is a lot smaller than previous years, with ten members compared to past years which had around thirty members. They have three amazing coaches: Coach Melissa Slade, Coach Rich Pettronella, and Coach Michael (Mike) Pratt. According to Coach Slade, “The team has a very strong bond.” They also have some traditions, one of which is their Saturday Breakfast.

They meet from 3:30 to around 5:20 to practice, at Sahuaro. Their home course, Lakeside was considered to be one of the most difficult courses in Tucson due to how many hills there are and how large each hill is. However, due to recent changes, it has become much easier and spectator friendly. They travel all over the state of Arizona to compete.  With the team having four amazing coaches and training on one of the best courses, they have the potential to do great.