By Josh Belgrad ’19
The cross country team returns this year with motivation and new head coach Mr. Oscar Borboa ’06. Mr. Borboa looks to follow in the footsteps of recently retired, longtime head coach Mr. Michael Keahon ’73.
Mr. Keahon was Mr. Borboa’s Cross Country coach when he was a runner for Brophy. Mr. Borboa noted the legacy that Keahon left, ending his career with back-to-back state runner-up results.
“Their biggest obstacle is their coach,” Mr. Borboa said, “there is still a lot that I am trying to learn and absorb and hopefully I will be able to relay that information back to the runners.”
He added that the team lost their two top runners to graduation last year so the team has a lot of room for growth and maturation this year.
He noted that the young team will be paced by three runners in three different classes: Drew Burns ’18, Anekin Hetman ’19 and Jose Acuna ’20.
Burns, as a team leader, stresses the importance of academic performance in the classroom, leadership throughout the team and being the best competitors possible.
Hetman, Burns and Mr. Borboa agreed that Desert Vista is the rival of the year for them as they always have an extremely competitive team.
Burns and Hetman discussed an important offseason trip that 10 cross country runners got to take part in. The team headed up to Flagstaff and ran, discussed goals, and bonded as a team.
The two leaders also gave a lot of credit to Mr. Borboa for coming in as a new coach with a very organized work routine focused on specific pacing. They noted that Mr. Borboa cares a lot about the health of the runners, and they feel the fittest they have ever felt.
“We had the opportunity to meet some professional runners,” Burns said. “One even a Xavier grad, who taught us about the importance of commitment and what it really takes to get to the next level.”
“We’re looking good,” Hetman said. “We’re gonna be strong this year, and we are looking to compete for the state title like always.”
Burns noted that this team is very focused on their sole goal of a state title and their work ethic is better than ever.