Thank You, Girls Cross Country


Ellie Gladson-Pang: As I neared the finish line, I heard the roar of teammates cheering for me, as I anticipated my imminent victory in the Cross Country All-team soda chugging competition. Surprisingly, I’m really good at chugging a full cup of Coca-Cola, running backwards for half a mile, and hurling my guts out in the park bathroom. 

Breeanna Pham: Now let’s take a step back. All three of us (Sophia, Ellie, and Breanna) are pretty good at the same thing Ellie is, just without the soda, in the forward direction, and for six times the distance–also known as cross country running. By this point, two years into the sport, it’s kind of our thing. Each of us has been part of the Arcadia High School (AHS) Girls Cross Country team since the beginning of the 2021 school year. It all started with the Lancer Invitational on Sept. 11, 2021. This was our very first race, and we really didn’t know what to expect. However, with the encouragement and support from older teammates and family, we realized that contrary to popular belief, running three miles wasn’t as bad as we thought! 

Sophia Li: So, after that, we continued to run–I’m a junior now, and Breeanna and Ellie are sophomores. It’s only been two years, but the Girls Cross Country team has provided us with a safe, hardworking family and caring community every day yet. No matter what the circumstances are, every girl on our team knows that we’ve got each other’s backs. Even at school, outside of cross country practices, we stick together. Whether it’s rushing to get breakfast, eating lunch together, or laughing at jokes made at the “tables” during 6th period, we spend more time together than with anybody else. All of us are so thankful to have found a group of friends, whether it be rekindling old friendships or meeting new ones, our Girls Cross Country team is an eclectic group of people who laugh and cry together. People who run, jog, and walk together. People who make each other complete. 

Ellie Gladson-Pang: We see each other’s ups and downs. Literally. Up at 5 a.m. for morning practice to, down for the count at 12 a.m. on the bus home from a night meet. Because we spend so much time together, we are so in tune with each other’s emotions. We can pick up when someone’s feeling down and support them, whether it be hugging each other after races or borrowing items like sunscreen or hair ties. No matter what, we know that we will always have each other’s backs and support each other.

Sophia Li: We know that whenever we see each other in the halls, we can recognize a friendly face; my daily walk to period 2 is always made better by a run-in with a teammate. In fact, it’s one of the highlights of my days when I see her smile. And that’s the real value of being part of a team. All the roster is to us is a list of some of our closest friends, a list of the names constantly on our group chat notifications, and always in our minds.

Breeanna Pham: We love our cross country team so much. To all of the girls we have shared memories with, laughed until we couldn’t breathe together, cried with each other–-thank you for being yourself. This Thanksgiving, we want to say thank you to our Girls Cross Country team.