“We always train for the end of the season, where you have the big meets,” he said. He estimated that the teams would be at full strength in time for a Wednesday meet with Chadwick and Garfield high schools, at the Peninsula Course in Palos Verdes Estates. The first large meet coming up is the South Bay Cup on Sept.26, followed by a dual meet with Narbonne High School, which Thompson called the Pirates’ main competition. “Their guys are probably favored over us in the league,” he said. The teams have been preparing with training camps, including one in Mammoth, and practices throughout the summer. Thompson said that long days include a 6- to 12-mile run, while others focus on fartlek conditioning exercises or hill runs. “We try to, if anything, undertrain them,” Thompson said of the workouts. “I feel like it’s better to be on the line than be the fittest person on the sideline.” He is also proud of the way the athletes cheer on the whole team, not just one person. “We try to make sure we talk to everybody and keep them involved,” he explained. Whereas the girls team, with about 45 runners, has many returners this season, the 35-member boys team only has a handful. “The guys are really young this year,” Thompson said. And although that might be a challenge this season, “I really think the freshman-sophomore group we have right now is going to do some good things down the road,” he said. Thompson named some of the strongest runners on each team. On the boys team, he mentioned senior captain Anthony Bebich, who he said is the fastest runner; sophomore Pablo Rosales and his brother David, a freshman; junior Michael Suarez and Javier Malchor. On the girls team, he complimented Maggie Tortoledo, last year’s fastest runner; senior captain Maddy Post, who is recovering from a soccer injury from last year; sophomore Laura Delgado; junior Alene Webber; senior Akiko Thomas and junior Laura Traeger. “Those are the ones right now looking like the main competition for our top five,” Thompson said. The teams run today in the Woodbridge Invitational in Irvine, held from 8 a.m. to noon. Other high schools Mary Star of the Sea and Rolling Hills Prep are also getting ready to start their cross country seasons. The Stars’ first meet is an invitational Thursday at the Santa Fe Dam. The Rolling Hills Huskies will take to the course Tuesday on their home turf. [email protected] local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! By Rachel Jones STAFF WRITER The San Pedro High School cross country teams have hit the ground running for the fall season. After a few runners participated in the first meet Sept. 8 in Long Beach, full strength is the goal. Coach Bruce Thompson said that the teams look to keep improving throughout the fall.