By Julius Pak
Led by second and third place finishes by Cami Chapus ’12 and Amy Weissenbach ’12, the girls’ cross country team won the final Mission League cluster match. Chapus finished the three-mile course at Crescenta Valley Park with a time of 19:30. Weissenbach finished one second behind. The boys’ team placed fourth at the meet.
ESPN’s “Rise” Magazine ranked Chapus and Weissenbach as two of the fastest female runners in the state in Division IV. Chapus was ranked first in the state and Weissenbach was ranked third.
“Defending champion Camille Chapus of Harvard-Westlake has opened with a win at Seaside and a third place finish in the Woodbridge sweepstakes race,” wrote Mike Kennedy, special correspondent for Rise, “Teammate Amy Weissenbach looks to make it a one-two finish for the Wolverines. In the spring, the two ranked in the top five in the nation in the 800 with Weissenbach winning at State 2:07.52 to 2:07.73.”
“I’m glad, though I’m not really thinking about my ranking at the moment,” Weissenbach said. “It’s still early in the season. Everyone is running on different courses and progressing differently, so it’s hard to accurately compare oneself with the rest of the state. We can’t predict who is going to show up to state with what times, or who our real individual competition is going to be. For that reason, I’m only concerned now with training: building mileage and continuing to drop [personal records] on each course so that I am well-prepared for the postseason.”
Meanwhile, the girls’ team has maintained its first place ranking in the CIF Southern Section Division IV. The boys’ team dropped to seventh place from the top position but rose to fifth place by the end of the month.
The Los Angeles Daily News ranked the girls’ team as the fourth best cross country program in all divisions of the CIF Southern Section, beating out many Division I teams.
Both of the teams competed at the 43rd annual Staub/Barnes Invitational on Oct. 2 at Crescenta Valley Park. Competing in Division II, Kevin On ’11 placed third in the race, finishing just half a second behind second place and less than five seconds behind the first place runner from Saugus.
Following On were Charlie Stigler ’11, Judd Liebman ’12, Will Tobias ’12, Ben Saunders ’11, David Manahan ’14, and Austin Lewis ’11. The boys’ team placed fifth out of 11 teams that placed.
Despite the absence of Chapus, Weissenbach, and Nikki Goren ’12 from the race, the girls’ team was still able to place fifth out of 14. Lauren Hansson ’11 led the team with a 13th place finish. Caitlin Yee ’13 followed close behind with Monica Nimmagadda ’14, Yasmin Moreno ’13, Elle Wilson’ 13, and Lily Einstein ’11 following.
Chapus and Weissenbach finished first and second in their division at the Bellarmine-Jefferson Invitational at Griffith Park on Sept. 25 in 102 degree weather. Their performances were not enough for the team to defeat Northwood High School.
Although the Wolverines took the top two spots, Northwood’s top five runners took third to seventh place, leaving the rest of the girls’ team in ninth, 11th, and 12th place, and the Northwood team won by 10 points.
The boys’ team had to compete against a Loyola team bent on breaking the Bellarmine-Jefferson Invitational all-time record. On placed fifth in a race where Loyola had four runners in the top 10, including their first and second places wins.
The team’s next meet will be the Mt. San Antonio College Invitational on Oct. 22. The Mission League Finals will be held on Nov. 3 at Crescenta Valley Park, the teams’ home course where the girls’ team will be looking for a repeat of last year’s victory.
“I think that [all our goals] are achievable; all that is needed is the continued hard work and effort from each member of our team,” Weissenbach said. “Together, we are stronger than ever this year.”