The cross country team made history at Toro Park in Salinas yesterday, November 10. Both teams qualified for the state championships, and the boys team won its first ever CCS title. Records were set in both races, with nearly each player reaching or beating their personal records.
Both teams were incredibly motivated to do well this race, but their goals were different. Only the top three teams in CCS make it to states, and the girls team aimed to place third behind powerhouses Archbishop Mitty High School and Mountain View High School. Even though the girls were projected to finish fourth behind Presentation High School, the girls shattered expectations, finishing seven points ahead to clinch third place.
“It’s a huge showing of how much better everyone has become and how determined everyone was to do well today,” girls varsity Captain senior Claire Bowie said.
Freshman Lauren Jacob placed second place in CCS with a time of 17:49, just three seconds behind first place finisher Danielle Katz. She broke her previous record by 35 seconds, setting the freshman course record at Toro Park. After taking second in CCS as a freshman, one can only imagine the damage Lauren will do in the upcoming years.
For the boys team, this was the year to win CCS. Last year the team lost by only four points to Los Gatos, placing second, a brutal reality which served as motivation for this year’s race.
“Most of our season has been focused on this race,” junior Terence Rabuzzi said. “All the races and all the times from before have helped us prepare.”
Terence also placed second in CCS, with freshman Ben Zaeske and seniors Josh Cohen and Alex Carr placing seventh, ninth and thirteenth, respectively.
In addition to intense workouts and practices, the fact that the cross country team had run at Toro Park twice already helped each runner pace themselves and run the best race they could.
“We were able to get a feeling for at what times we should be where, and how hard we should push the first mile,” Claire said. “The first mile and a half is really flat and then you get these gnarly hills where usually everyone dies out. But everyone was able to push up through those and then finish the last half mile and kick it in at the end.”
It was a remarkable day for cross country. Both teams are preparing to carry their momentum from their results in CCS to the state championships in Fresno, which is only two weeks away.
[Photos courtesy of Andy Cohen]