Distance Squads Turn 4 Titles at Championships


Hannah Lefcourt, Staff Writer

The cross country team faced league rivals at the Diablo Foothill Athletic League (DFAL) championships on Saturday, November 3 at Hidden Valley Park. The varsity boys, JV boys, frosh-soph boys, and frosh-soph girls all earned team titles, while the varsity girls placed 2nd and JV girls placed 4th.

Cross country coach Chuck Woolridge was satisfied with the results. “We expected our boys to contend for the league title, so their victory  was a good indication that they are on track to defend their North Coast Section title,” he said.

“Brighie Leach’s performance was particularly gratifying, considering she had never won a varsity race before in her career,” he said.  Leach won the girls’ varsity race over pre meet favorites Rachel Johnson and Acalanes’ Annie Marggraff.

“On the boy’s side, Cameron Sun scored for the team in his 2012 varsity debut after being injured for almost a year,” Woolridge said.

A team captain, Sun was 5th for the squad, and 13th overall, setting a new personal record. “I just want to improve my time,” he said. After running on the JV team in the DFAL Center Meet on October 24 as part of his gradual return from a knee and IT injury, he is happy to finally be back competing for the varsity.

According to prepcaltrack.com, the varsity boys are currently ranked 4th in California for Division 3 schools, while the varsity girls are ranked 8th.  Girls’ league champion Las Lomas are ranked 6th in the state wide poll.

The annual success of the varsity teams may be due, in part, to the strength of the frosh soph teams, which continue to develop young talent. Sophomore Sam Lee, a frosh-soph team member, said, “I worked really hard and strived to be first.” Lee placed 2nd for his team and 3rd overall at the DFAL Championships, in a personal best time of 11:18 for the 2 mile course. “I want to keep getting faster until I’m first.”

Team captain Haley Shipway finished 3rd for the varsity girls and 7th overall on Saturday.  A veteran of the 2010 state championship team, Shipway is closing in on her times from that season. “I was hurt all last season, so just running at the championships made my day, but the fact that my race went really well and that I beat my personal record made it that much better,” she said.

Although Shipway would like have seen the girl’s team beat Las Lomas for the league championship, she is “really proud of how much [the team] has improved since the beginning of the season.”

Both varsity squads will continue their post season by defending their titles at the North Coast Section Championships at Hayward High School on Saturday, November 17.