Pioneer Athlete Spotlight on Christian White

Pioneer Athlete Spotlight on Christian White

Pioneer Athlete Spotlight on Christian WhitePioneer Athlete Spotlight on Christian WhiteSchool: Clayton Valley Charter High School
Grade: Senior
Sports: Cross Country, Track

With COVID-19 protocols, a delayed season and breath-inhibiting California heat and smoke, four-year runner White has quite literally risen from the ashes (wildfire ash, that is) to take on a crucial role as captain of the Ugly Eagles cross country squad. This year was already set up to be uncharted territory: seven-year coach Anthony Munch stepped down after the 2019 season, leaving CVCHS teacher Shaun Guest at the helm of the program with help from assistant coaches Tim Martinez and Kevin White.

Although the absence of Munch’s knowledge and experience left a hole in the program, co-captains White and Tyler Habermeyer and the coaching staff kicked off cross country conditioning in early July in full gear. However, after about a week, White was disappointed to see the team have no choice but to split “into pods of 12 runners, wear masks and keep distance from each other.”

A team sport

The incoming senior said, “Cross country is a team sport and not being able to run together has been difficult.  We pump each other up and encourage teammates constantly.  Not having that [all running together] has been hard. Now, fall sports have been pushed out into winter and our training has been scaled back from 5-6 days a week, to three days.”

Despite the uncertainty of how the Dec. 7 beginning of official training will pan out, or if it will happen at all, White has tackled the fading motivation of his teammates by remaining as positive as ever. Not a practice goes by where White doesn’t share feedback and encouragement with all of his teammates. He also plays a big role in planning safe and healthy team events to keep the fun and inclusive spirit of cross country alive. Along with his three years on varsity cross country, White has also spent two years on the varsity track team.

Although he mentions that the loss of an offseason between the end of cross country and the beginning of track conditioning will be difficult for rest and recovery, White remains excited for his last year in running at the high school level and refuses to let COVID protocols inhibit his success.

January Meets

Cross country competition is slated to begin in early January with invitational meets. The Diablo Athletic League center meets are Jan. 30 and Feb. 20 with all 13 schools participating and the DAL championship meet Mar. 6 at Hidden Valley Park in Martinez. The North Coast Section meet is two weeks later on Mar. 20 in Hayward.

White is undecided about whether he wants to run at the collegiate level but plans on attending DVC next fall. His older brother Dylan, who also ran cross country, was the 2017-18 CVCHS male athlete of the year. Christian White says his ideal job would be to return to Clayton Valley Charter after college as a P.E. teacher and cross country coach. One would not be too far off to call him the high school equivalent of Boston Celtics legendary player-coach Bill Russell. The Ugly Eagles team certainly wouldn’t be the same without the major role he has taken responsibility for this year.

CVCHS student journalist Alexa Oldham wrote this Spotlight.

The Pioneer congratulates Christian and thanks Athlete Spotlight sponsors Dr. Laura Lacey & Dr. Christopher Ruzicka who have been serving the Clayton and Concord area for 25 years at Family Vision Care Optometry.

Do you know a young athlete who should be recognized? Perhaps he or she has shown exceptional sportsmanship, remarkable improvement or great heart for the sport. Send your nomination for the Pioneer Athlete Spotlight today to