By: Nicholas Dal Porto
The cross country program at Design Tech is undoubtedly one of the most notable and successful sports programs in the school’s history. Fearlessly led by beloved math teacher Matthew Cooley, they’ve been relentlessly practicing and competing for many months this year.
Finally, the months of demanding physical training and body numbing competition have paid off. The Design Tech cross country team qualified for the Central Coast Section (CCS) Championship after being one of the top schools in their league, the Public Schools Athletic League (PSAL). Every year, top schools from all around the Bay Area – public and private – attend CCS to decide which outstanding runners get to go to the California State Championship. This year, after a stellar season, d.tech’s own Tanson Chan, a junior, qualified for this event. He will be the first in Design Tech history to attend a State Championship, in any sport. We interviewed him to find out how excited he is to attend and to discover how CCS and the overall season went.
The Dragon (abbreviated hereafter as TD): What’s it like making the state-level competition? Have you ever been there before?
Tanson Chan (abbreviated hereafter as TC): I have never been to the state meet, but I am very excited to go. Just being there will be an amazing experience, seeing most of the fastest runners in California compete. I am a bit nervous because I know it’ll be a very fast race. I ran a lot and worked hard during the summer and fall because I had a goal to qualify for the state meet and I am glad it payed off.
TD: What were you feeling when you found out you’d made it?
TC: Before the final results were posted, I was mostly satisfied with how I ran in the race but a bit anxious as well because I did not know what I placed in the race. In fact, I actually got beat in the last 100 meters by two people, so I was worried that it may have cost me the qualifying spot. When my teammate Tyler Chan showed me the results, I was extremely delighted to have qualified.
TD: What’s your favorite part about running? What inspires you to do it?
TC: My favorite part of running is probably feeling the air rush past me; it just feels very satisfying. It takes me outside of my house and it is always fun to explore a new area (and hopefully not getting lost). My teammates are also very entertaining people to be around. Although I do not run with them often, they’re fun to talk to after practice.
TD: Anything else you want to comment about the State event or otherwise?
TC: The CCS Championship race was the most important one this season, but I did not do as well in it as I did earlier in the season. It may have been partially due to the week-long spell of bad air and injuring my hip right during an important training block, but even without those external factors, I learned that you won’t be running an amazing race every time, some days might just suck.
The race takes place on Saturday, November 25 in Fresno. Information and live results can be found on the California Interscholastic Federation website, located here: http://www.cifstate.org/sports/cross_country/champ_info/index