On Saturday, November 30, the top seven boys and girls in cross country traveled down to Woodward Park in Fresno to compete in the CIF State Cross Country Championships. This year marked Los Altos’ fourth appearance in the state meet. In the Division II 5k race, the boys team placed 17th overall with an average time of 16:40.9, while the girls’ team placed 20th overall with an average time of 20:03.8.
The meet fostered a total of seven personal records, with three on the boy’s team and four from the girls’. Sophomore Ben Zaeske, who led the boys team, placed 42nd with his first-ever sub-sixteen time of 15:59.2, while sophomore Lauren Jacob led the girl’s team in 11th with her first sub-eighteen time of 17:51.4. Other boys PRs included senior Dane Tippett’s 16:35.4 time and sophomore Kevin Anawalt’s 17:08.5. The girls team’s PRs came from senior Wendy Wu’s 20:40.4 time, junior Kristen Adams’ 20:50.0 and sophomore Tatiana Gibson’s 20:48.7.
Despite the team’s number of PRs, many runners on the team were somewhat disappointed with their results.
“Most of us didn’t bring our A-game to the State meet; either we went out too hard or we just didn’t prepare well enough,” senior Dane Tippett said. “Regardless, we made it to the State Finals meet, something that, quite frankly, is incredibly hard to do.”
Though the boys and girls team’s placings represent a drop from last year’s 9th and 16th place performances, this year’s boys 17th place is the third highest finish in school history, and the girls’ 20th place finish is the second highest finish. Though place-wise not an improvement from last year, the girls performance, timewise, broke school records. The girls team broke the school record for team time by 74 seconds (1:40:19).
“We were aiming for seventh or eighth and instead we got a (disappointing) 17th,” sophomore Andreas Godderis said. “The overall season was very successful however, and everyone should be proud of that.”
The cross country season, however, is not over for some. This weekend, on December 7, five runners – Dane, Ben and Lauren, along with senior Tim Cyron and freshman Katie Klein – will compete at the Footlocker West Regional in Mount Sac, Walnut. For mid and long distance track runners, winter conditioning begins in January.