After runners from both the girls’ and boys’ programs won individual races this season, the cross country teams are confident that they are ready for League Finals on Oct. 19, where the girls’ squad will try to defend their league title and the boys’ will begin their quest for State Finals.
Lizzy Thomas ‘14 finished first in her race in the opening league meet on Sept. 6, and the girls took second overall at both league cluster meets at Balboa Park.
Thomas, Trishta Dordi ’15, and Audrey Wilson ’15 placed second, fourth, and sixth respectively at the most recent cluster meet on Oct. 4.
The girls’ team has been the Mission League titleholder for the past four years. While they’ll be running with a target on their backs as the champions, the Wolverines nevertheless feel ready and able to defend their title.
“Since the summer, I think our work is paying off,” girls’ co-captain Yasmin Moreno ’13 said. “A lot of the pressure to defend the title comes from ourselves. This year a lot of the teams have been looking to beat us, and one of our main goals is to show everyone how hard we’ve worked.”
Ben Weissenbach ’15 has won two races over the course of the season and leads the boys’ team in top five finishes.
While Weissenbach placed second in his race in the most recent league meet, the boys finished third overall in both league cluster meets.
Although he has enjoyed his regular season victories, Weissenbach finds preparing for the postseason to be the highest priority.
“The races that really matter are at the end of the season, so the races that we have right now are very good indicators of what kind of shape we’re in,” Weissenbach said. “Success is fun, but the goal is success at the end of the season. We’d all really like to qualify for the State Meet as a team, so the main goal is to get to Fresno.”
As League Finals mark the start of the postseason, the boys are confident in their ability to advance past League Finals to CIF and potentially State competition.
Boys’ co-captain David Manahan ’14 also has one first – place finish on the season and placed ninth in his race on Oct. 4. He attributes the team’s confidence to their depth.
“We’ve definitely had the most depth I’ve seen since I’ve been here. The time difference between our first guy and our fifth guy is so close – a minute, maybe two minutes apart – and that means that our scoring is going to be very good, which will help us in the postseason,” Manahan said. “We’ve been doing really well in league this year. We set our goals high, and we don’t see any reason why we can’t do better.”
The cross country teams will run in their last competition before League Finals at the annual Mt. San Antonio College Invitational on Friday, Oct. 19.
On Wednesday, Oct. 31, the Wolverines will return to Balboa Park for League Finals, where the girls’ Mission League title will be up for grabs again.
Runners will then head back to Mt. SAC for CIF preliminaries on Nov. 10 and, if they qualify, CIF Finals on Nov. 17.
If they advance from CIF, the runners will travel to Woodward Park in Fresno for State Finals on Nov. 24.