Runners compete in nationally-known race

The cross country team plans to attend the Chile Pepper Festival the weekend of Oct. 1. The Chile Pepper Festival is one of the premier running events in America. Typically, there are 80 college teams and 120 high school teams battling for prestige awards. The race takes place at the University of Arkansas.

Senior Yair Cordero and his team have been working hard for the last couple of weeks to get ready for this big event. 

“We are preparing for Chile Pepper by waking up early in the morning and working to get better each and every day,” Cordero said. 

The team feels mentally prepared and has positive energy going into the weekend. Coach  Patrick Sullivan plays a big role in getting them prepared and believes that they can finish at the top of the leaderboard. 

“Our top runners for this year are Jonathan Mendez, James Eslick, and myself,” Cordero said.

Cordero will be running the 5k this weekend and is hoping to set a new PR.

“I am hoping for a 16:20 and work my way up to 15:50 by the time State comes around,” Cordero said. 

Har-Ber had two Top 40 finishers in the Boys 5k Caliente race last year, junior Johnthan Mendez, placing 25th and senior James Eslick. According to Cordero “we are hoping for better results this year”. Mendez ran an outstanding 15:48.0 and was just a sophomore. Eslick ran a 15:57.1 placing 36th. Both of them were running against 470 people, an easy task for these athletes. 

The girls team is younger, but they still have found leadership in experienced players, like Callie Love and juniors Passion Perez and Avery Anderson. Love believes the team is prepared to go and dominate and Coach Sullivan is preparing for that. 

“Our coach is pushing us everyday with our workouts and training and he is mentally preparing us with his amazing pep talks,” Love said. 

The players love what Coach Sullivan and his staff are doing. 

“Coach is playing a big role by being with us every step of the way, in the mornings, during practices, and even in school and making sure we have our minds right at all times” Cordero said.

The cross country team season began Sept. 4 and the season ends Nov. 3, depending how they do in state. Coach Sullivan believes his team will be outstanding this year and is ready to compete. 

“Our team is highly prepared to take on the best competition and earn some medals,” he said.