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Mustang runners work out, then spruce up Watershed trail
Redmond High’s cross country runners figure that if they hold their Saturday morning workouts along the Redmond Watershed Preserve trail, they might as well help keep it in good shape.
“Since we use it, I feel an obligation to preserve it. Not everyone can run on nice trails as we can,” said Mustang sophomore Jacob Montiel-Bravo.
Added senior Alex Leslie: “It’s our duty. I live real close by and I run there a lot in the offseason, not just the Saturday practice.”
Last Saturday, Montiel-Bravo, Leslie and 23 other Mustangs spent an hour after their morning run to clear about 800 yards of Herb Robert weeds along the trail as part of the team’s stewardship project. (Herb Robert, which was once known as Saint Robert’s Herb, was named after a French monk who lived in 1000 AD. He used the plant to cure many people suffering from various diseases, according to ediblewild food.com.)
Junior Emilio Cunningham and freshman Nick Miller said the crew worked hard and bonded with each other. Volunteers Mike Shaw and Roberta DeBruler of the nonprofit Green Redmond, along with Redmond High adult supervisor Shawn Aebi, guided the Mustangs through the inaugural project.
Located at 21760 N.E. Novelty Hill Road, the Watershed Preserve is an 800-acre natural open space and trail system that is designed for running, horseback riding, mountain bicycling and hiking.
“We kind of take it for granted, it’s such a great area,” said Aebi, whose children — Carter, a senior, and Meryl, a freshman — are both Mustang runners and were stewardship workers. Shawn has run at the Watershed Preserve for a decade.
Green Redmond’s Shaw said he was impressed with how the runners finished up their practice and then transitioned into a clean-up crew despite being tired and cold after their workout.
“They were very thorough and were interested in the history of the place they were running in. I was appreciative of that,” Shaw said.
Redmond High coach Denis Villeneuve said when his athletes run, they’re representing Redmond and they have the drive to help the community that supports them in return.
The coach added that the Mustangs’ cross country program provides a familial atmosphere for the runners and they learn life lessons that they can apply in the classroom, relationships and the community.
Villeneuve points to a sign on one wall in the gym that is emblazoned with crucial words to give the runners a boost in all areas of their lives. The words are: commitment, determination, responsibility, enthusiasm, unity, patience, self-discipline and concentration.
Carson Potter, front, Carter Aebi and Claira Young work away. Courtesy of Shawn Aebi