Alzbeta Hofmanova and Kateryna Ivlieva are making the best of their school year at Delta High School.
Hofmanova is from Prague, Czech Republic, and Ivlieva is from Kiev, Ukraine.
For both students, their stay through international student exchange programs marks their first time in the United States. They entered the country through New York City, where they began their stay with visits to the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, the World Trade Center and other major landmarks.
Delta chose them, they said last Friday after finishing their 5k run at the Pantherfest Invitational cross country meet at Confluence Park. But they both chose to run cross country. Ivlieva said her family is friends with the family of teammate, Emma Roithmayr.
In the Czech Republic, Ivlieva said, sports include dance gymnastics. When she asked Roithmayer what sports she likes, "She said cross country."
After trying it, she joined the team.
Ivlieva started running cross country mid-season and ran her first competitive race Friday. She and Hofmanova ran the course together, and for the first time, Ivlieva ran the entire course without stopping. "It felt wonderful," she said.
When asked what they like most about their school year, both said they love their host families. "I love my family so much," said Ivlieva.
"I like everything," added Hofmanova. "The teachers here are so friendly."