Leach, Goltra Advance to State Track Meet

Sarah Orders, Asst. EIC

Sophomore Brighie Leach took the North Coast Section Meet of Champions (MOC) crown in the girls 3200m race, securing a spot at the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) State Championships. Teammate Aidan Goltra was the runner-up in the boys 3200m race and will also be competing at the state meet on June 1.

The Meet of Champions took place on May 25 at Edwards Stadium in Berkeley, and according to head coach Chuck Woolridge, going into the meet both athletes were trying to advance to state. In order to move on from MOC to the state meet, an athlete must finish in the top three in his or her respective  event.

According to Woolridge, both races unfolded exactly as the athletes had hoped and the two executed their race plans perfectly.

For the girls’ race, Woolridge was hoping there would be a pack of title contenders at around 10:40 pace, which is exactly what happened. “Leach did not lead until half-way through the race, and when she took the lead, she did it with authority and significantly gapped the rest of the field,” said Woolridge.

Leach knew what her race plan was going in and she knew she could hang with the top pack of runners. “Chuck had given me directions, to stay with the group and if I felt good, then go for it,” Leach said. Leach did not lead until the 5th la, but drafted behind other competitors.

According to Woolridge, Leach’s time of 10:41.45 places her 2nd overall in Campo history for the 3200m race.

Goltra’s goal was to be in the top 6 at the halfway point and that is what happened, according to Woolridge. There was an expectation that Blair Hurlock (De La Salle) would be aggressive and force the pace, which would whittle the lead group down to 3 or 4. “With 1 lap remaining Goltra was in 4th, by the final turn had moved to 3rd, and on the last straightaway battled to 2nd,” said Woolridge.

Looking ahead to the state meet, which will take place at Buchanan High School on June 1, Woolridge is pleased to have two competitors. “The exciting thing about the state meet is that 3200m conditions are optimal because they race later at night,” explained Woolridge.

Woolridge believes there will be potential for improving on two of the top times in Northern California and there are many competitors that will be running splits to pull them to their goal. Leach will try to run around 10:30 and Goltra hopes to dip under 9:10 according to Woolridge. “There is a great chance they will both place among the top 10 in their respective races,” said Woolridge.

Leach is excited for the state meet, as this is her first time competing at it. “I am hoping to put myself in there and run with fast people. I am excited to be with fast people and be in that environment where everyone wants to compete,” added Leach.

For future track seasons and the upcoming cross-country season, this performance at MOC bodes well for the Campo running program. According to Woolridge, it establishes Leach and Goltra as the top returning athletes for the 2014 track season. “This gives Campo a great advantage as we look to continue our success in the future,” he said.