Goltra’s State Victory Earns Elite Company

Luther Kuefner, Staff Writer

Varsity cross country runner Aidan Goltra placed 1st at the California Interscholastic Federation Division III State Championship meet in Fresno the weekend after Thanksgiving, making him the first male Campolingo runner to win a state title. Goltra ran the 3.1 mile Woodward Park course in 15:18, breaking the school record set last season by Thomas Joyce.

According to Goltra, the race was closely contested over the entire distance, but he managed to finish strong. “It was a very close race, but I kept focused on the last stretch,” said Goltra. “I went in with an open mind.”

According to Kilian Goltra, Aidan Goltra’s twin brother, “It was really close at the end, but he managed to hold it.”

According to coach Chuck Woolridge, Goltra was considered a contender for the state championship after his impressive victory at the North Coast Section meet at Hayward High School the week prior. At the NCS meet, where conditions were marred by rain and mud, Goltra outran the rest of the Division III competitors by a considerable margin.  His 15:30 winning time was the fastest of all five divisions.

Woolridge attributed Goltra’s recent success to a lifetime of distance running that started with a Pleasanton youth program and continued through his years at Las Lomas, where he participated in cross country and track as a freshman and sophomore. Woolridge said, “His years of consistent training have allowed him to achieve his current success.”

Teammate Adam Hathaway was impressed by Goltra’s performance. Hathaway said, “I knew that he had a shot, but nonetheless, I was really surprised he was able to do it because it’s such an amazing feat.”

“When I crossed the finish line, winning wasn’t the first thing I was thinking about. I think it’s still sinking in,” said Goltra.

The CIF championship puts Goltra in the company of only four other individual state title winners in the school’s history: Wrestlers Mickey Mayes and Nikko Triggas, and cross country runners Sarah Riley and Carrie Verdon.  Counting Verdon’s back to back titles in 2010 and 2011, Goltra’s victory puts the Cougar’s consecutive cross country state title streak at three years.

Goltra said, “Campo’s had a lot of runners, and it’s cool to be 1st.”