Verdon Leads Team Title Hopes


Sarah Orders, Sports Editor

Both girls’ and boys’ cross country teams will be competing for North Coast titles at Saturday’s Meet of Champions on Hayward High School’s three-mile course.

The Cougar girls’ squad is hoping to defend their 2010 title on the road to another State championship. According to head coach Chuck Woolridge the team members on both squads have high expectations, as the boys are ranked 2nd to Piner and the girl’s are ranked 1st.

In order for the boys to pull off an upset, the team is looking to their fifth runner to have a breakout performance. Woolridge said, “the boys have a formidable front 4 and the fate of the team hinges on the number 5 runner.”

Key for the girls will be the their scoring finishers behind nationally ranked distance star Carrie Verdon. Verdon is the defending section and state champion and is currently the favorite.  But cross country is scored by totaling the finish places of the team’s first five.  Like golf, the lowest score wins. Verdon said, “My goal is to win the race, run sub 17 minutes and push myself throughout the entire race.”

Therefore, Campo’s team title hopes rest on the shoulders of the supporting cast, specifically freshman Mary Orders, junior Megan McMillan and freshman Rachel Johnson. Freshman Brighie Leach has been the team’s 5th runner for the majority of the season and she hopes to run sub 19 minutes. Verdon said, “It is very exciting to have 3 freshman on varsity this year.”

Woolridge believes if Orders, McMillan and Johnson can place in the top 10, then the Cougars will be unbeatable in their division III race and have a shot at setting the all-time team-time record for the meet.