Despite half of the team being sick, the Cougar cross country squads still made a strong showing at the Trans-Valley League meet opener on Wednesday. The varsity boys placed second and the varsity girls placed third. The frosh/soph boys won it even though the top five frosh/soph boys ran at the varsity level.
For the varsity, Zack Gardner paced the boys with a fifth place finish at 18:34. He was followed by Sam Fletcher 7th at 18:41, Eddy Calderon 8th at 18:44, Rex Robbins 13th in 19:23 and Gabriel Romero 21st in 19:29.
Nora Nash was the leader for the varsity girls by placing fourth overall in 22:12. Following her was Marisol Aguayo 14th 23:37, 17th Jackie Lau 24:01, Gabriela Avalos 28th 25:49, and Gabby Rigg 31st 25:54.
Leading the frosh/soph boys was Sam Picket third in 12:59, 4th David Plascencia 13:00, 5th John Strand 13:03, 6th Moises Grajeda 13:14 and 10th Andres Cornejo 13:23.
“This race counts for one-fourth of our league season,” noted head coach Rick Heflin. “On Saturday we traveled to Golden Gate Park for a first time meet. We were scheduled to go to Toro Park in Salinas but the fires closed the park.”
The frosh/soph competed on a 2.1 mile course in San Francisco and the varsity got a shorter course of 2.93. Normally the courses are 2 miles and 3.1 miles.
“It was a huge meet. Most races capped off with 250 athletes. The meet was so large that there were two races per division,” explained Heflin.
Back in action after missing Wednesday’s meet, Juan Lopez earned a medal by placing 10th in 12:56. The team placed 10th overall in the race. Sam Fletcher led the sophomore boys by earning a medal for 14th place in 12:44. The team placed 13th overall.
“The big news on the day were in the varsity races. Leading the girls was Yajaira Salinas. She placed 29th in 19:22 which would convert to a 20:29 time,” Heflin said of the normal 3.1 course, a personal record for Salinas. “Behind her was Nora Nash at 20:43, Jackie Lau 21:09, Marisol Aguayo 21:45, Gabriela Avalos 23:04. The team placed 13th overall.”
Leading the boys was Eddy Calderon with a PR – personal record – as well. He ran a 16:47 and placed 75th. His converted time would be 17:45 which is the first time he has gone under 18 minutes. Behind him was Zack Gardner 17:14, Rex Robbins 18:01, Daniel Gavin 18:38, and Sam Thompson at 20:00.
The team placed 26th.
“It was a great day. Everyone enjoyed running in the cool temps for a change,” said Heflin. “Thank you to all the parents that helped us make it a great day.”