The rising KHS senior rolled out of bed just minutes before the 9 a.m. practice — the team’s second practice of the 2014 season.
“I’m not used to waking up this early, yet,” Rubina said.
School doesn’t start for another couple of weeks, but practice started Monday for Kodiak’s cross country and football teams. Volleyball and swimming starts on Aug. 11.
The beginning of the cross country season means an early wake-up call for runners. During the summer Rubina didn’t wake up until noon.
“I was sleeping all day,” he said.
Longtime Kodiak coach Marcus Dunbar said nobody complains about morning practices because it leaves the rest of the day open.
“We like them to start getting climatized because school is going to be starting soon and they need to get out of that sleeping till noon pattern that some of them probably have gotten into,” Dunbar said.
Thirty-four students showed up for Monday’s practice. A few new faces trickled in Tuesday. They blended in with the team’s veterans.
“It is a good turnout, both boys and girls,” Dunbar said. “Lots of young talent. It is exciting to see where we can take them to this season.”
Dunbar liked the enthusiasm displayed by the team in Monday’s practice. The first week is filled with light workouts.
“We are just getting them used to running everyday again — get over any sore muscles and make sure we don’t over do it,” he said. “It is easy the first two weeks to wipe people out and bury them a little too deep if they haven’t been training.”
Senior Masami Kageyama missed Monday’s practice, but did a workout by himself.
“I was dying,” he said. “My shins and calves are a little bit sore just from running two miles.”
Kageyama is using the cross country season as a way to get in shape for wrestling, a winter sport.
“I want to improve my cardio, because I have been lazy this summer. I have just been weightlifting,” he said.
When Rubina wasn’t sleeping during the summer, he was running. He was prepared for the first day.
“It felt like any other practice, really,” he said. “I’m in shape, so it felt like nothing.”
Rubina was a member of last year’s boys team that captured its 12th straight Region III title. Kodiak is hosting this year’s regional meet on Sept. 27.
“I’m looking forward to seeing everybody’s progress,” Rubina said. “I’m looking forward to hopefully winning a state title.”
The Alumni Run is 6 p.m. on Aug. 15 at Fort Abercrombie State Historical Park, which is followed by the team’s annual weeklong trip to the Mainland, where it will dual Homer and run at the Colony Twilight and the Tsalteshi Trails Invitational in Soldonta.
The first home meet is against West Anchorage, West Valley and Dimond on Aug. 29.
Contact Derek Clarkston at email@example.com.