The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

The Talon

The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

The Talon

The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

The Talon

Cross Country Dominates SCVAL Finals

On Tuesday, November 5, cross country travelled to Crystal Springs for SCVAL finals, the race that determined whether or not it would qualify for CCS. Both varsity teams qualified. The varsity girls placed fourth and the varsity boys won the SCVAL Championship for their division.

Crystal Springs is a 2.95 mile dirt course with many hills. The Eagles run at Crystal Springs three to four times a year, so it’s a familiar home to veteran runners.

“It’s probably one of the best courses we run on because it’s got the perfect amount of hills and we basically train on hills, so it’s ideal to us to run at Crystal Springs. Plus, it’s kind of like our home course,” senior Dane Tippett said.

Going into the race, the question for varsity boys was not so much whether they’d qualify to CSS, but what place they would secure.

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“We are not as fast as Los Gatos is but we are pretty close to them. So within our section of our division, we’re not number 1, but we are close there… we were pretty confident about qualifying,” Dane said.

For many runners, SCVALs was their last meet, so it sparked a bit of reflection.

“I’m definitely going to miss the team and coaches and also the pasta feeds,” senior Matthew Sears said.

Although both varsity teams put up impressive times, it hasn’t always been this way. The team hasn’t always been so confident in contending for CSS.

“We haven’t always been good… I remember as a freshman what it felt like when we got dead last in our race,” senior Wendy Wu said.

But things have changed partly because of the coaching efforts under Dan Oren and the rest of the staff. Now the team has more specialized sessions where they focus on expanding skill sets like knowing how to downhill effectively.

“We all love and respect our coaches. The time they put into the team is invaluable,” Matthew said.

Part of the success also lies in an upsurge of talented underclassmen.

“We’ve had a lot of new talented kids like Katya and Katie who are willing to work hard,” Wendy said.

Although most runners have finished their season, the top eight male and female runners will continue to practice for CCS. The top eight boys include Kevin Glass, Dane Tippett, Ben Zaeske, Andreas Godderis, Kevin Anawalt, Konrad Niemiec, Alex Fache and Tim Cyron. The top eight girls include Wendy Wu, Katie Klein, Lauren Jacob, Kristen Adam, Katia Gibson, Tatiana Gibson, Britt DeVisser and Anneliese Gallagher.

Practices are shifting to prepare for the remaining race.

“We’re getting to the more faster races, we’re focusing less on stamina… and more on speed workouts… [W]e won’t be running any hills and we won’t be doing any 12 mile runs but we will be doing eight 400s [with] somewhere between a mile and two mile race pace,” Dane said.

On November 16, the team will have another chance to run at Crystal Springs for CCS Finals.

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