In the middle of a day-long hike in the expansive San Gabriel Mountains last summer, Eric Kleinsasser briefly stumbled. He wasn't sure what the consequences might lead to from his unexpected mishap.
While walking on a slight incline on a dirt trail near Claremont, a rock popped out of the ground and bruised Kleinsasser's left ankle. Kleinsasser didn't feel any sharp pain initially, but his ankle eventually swelled and bruised.
Stumbling or even taking a spill on a course isn't something that's been customary for Kleinsasser, a former Crescenta Valley High standout cross-country runner now excelling at Occidental College. Yet, it happened, and concerns arose leading up to the cross-country season.
"I was very concerned," Kleinsasser said. "I knew that I would have to look at things objectively with the season around the corner.
"When I was hiking, I didn't anticipate anything like that happening, but it did. That's just the risk you take."