As the 2019 Yucaipa High School Cross Country season came to a close, it is important to look back to 1962 and the first cross country team at Yucaipa High School. These young men-Berry Barnett, Roger Bain, Roy Bain, Jim Bishop, Gary Dart, Steve Gillette, Bob Hough, Mike Hovell, Steve Martin, Jan Person, Joe Raine, Jim Schauer, Gary Sowers, Dan Welsh and Coach Murray-assembled a team and set out to do battle in the Desert Valley League. What happened next set the stage for the future of cross country at YHS.
Coach Murray and his young men won the league title at the close of their first season. How did the runners of the future respond to YHS’ first league champions’ efforts? Currently boys and girls Cross Country have won over 60 league championships, numerous CIF championships, state championships and a number one national ranking. Yucaipa High School cross country now regularly appears in local, state and national rankings. Nationally, the Thunderbirds are well known and highly regarded. I am thinking Coach Murray and his Thunderbird runners would be proud of what followed.