Girls’ XC Wins State Title

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Grant Chudler, Staff Writer

Girls’ Cross Country won the Division III race at the CIF State Championships at Woodward Park in Fresno on November 30. The Cougars, who were ranked #2 heading into the meet, beat 2nd place Northwood High of the Southern Section by 44 points.

Campolindo placed three athletes in the top 20 of the 5 kilometer race. Junior Brighie Leach finished 2nd, junior Mary Orders finished 17th, and junior Rachel Johnson crossed the line in 18th out of 190 athlete field.

Coach Chuck Woolridge believed the key to the team’s success was their diligence. “Hard work pays off. These girls have been training since June,” he said.

In fact, most of the athletes on the squad met 5 or 6 days a week for workouts over the summer, and then continued to train before and after school, as well as on Saturdays through the fall season.

Haley Shipway was one of those athletes that put in the work over the summer. “We decided we wanted to try to win state and just go for it and I’m very excited that it happened,” she said.

“We did weights over the summer, and did double days, and amped up our mile times trying to get faster and stronger for the end of the season,” she explained.

Orders confirmed that the team “put in a lot of hours and would come in before school” in addition to their regular afternoon workout sessions.

“It felt very good and we were very emotional after,” Orders said of the team’s initial reaction to the state championship performance.

Shipway hoped the experience of winning state “inspired” and “encouraged” younger team members.

Woolridge said the win was a “reasonable expectation, given the veteran leadership and number of returning state meet participants” the squad featured this year.

“We expected ourselves to win, because we’ve put so much work in it. It was difficult, but it was worth it,” Orders said.

According to Woolridge, with 6 of the 7 state meet participant returning next year, as well as Hana Sun, how missed the end of the season with injury, Campolindo “should expect to be in the running for a 4th state championship” in 2014.