Leach, Goltra Lead Runners at Stanford


The girls’ varsity placed 1st and the boys’ placed 2nd at the prestigious Stanford cross country invitational on September 28. Notable individual performers were  junior Brighie Leach, who won the Division III girls’ race, and senior Aidan Goltra, who won the Division III boys’ race.

Leach’s time for the 3.1 mile race was 18:17. Goltra completed the course in 15:44.

The girls’ team consisted of Leach, senior Haley Shipway, juniors Rachel Johnson and Mary Orders, and sophomores Hana Sun, Robin Powell, and Sarah Cella.

Goltra, seniors Ben Weinberg, Will Moran, juniors Parker Lothamer and Kevin Buckley, sophomore Nathaniel Sauerberg, and freshman JJ Yabu made up the boys’ team.

Sarah Cella, who is new to cross country after competing in the middle distance events during the spring track season, and JJ Yabu, who is a freshman, were the two rookies who participated.

The girls’ varsity team finished the meet with 36 points, an impressive score considering that Stanford typically attracts the top teams from across the state. Following them was Aptos High School of the Central Coast Section, which scored 66 points. Like golf, the low score wins in cross country.

The boys had 116 points, taking 2nd place, 2 points behind the Southern Section’s Paso Robles, which won the Invitational with a score of 114. Only the top 7 boys and the top 7 girls from each team participated in the Invitational.

Following behind Leach’s 1st place run was Johnson, who placed 3rd with a time of 18:51. On the boys’ side, Weinberg finished second for the team with a time of 16:22, taking 7th place overall.

A league meet at Shadow Cliffs preceding the Stanford Invitational. There,  the frosh-soph girls and the JV boys swept the top 5 individual positions. This gave the whole team a boost of confidence, according to Leach.

The cross country team is hoping to win NCS and also place at state this year. Additionally, the team is hoping sweep the league championships (frosh soph, junior varsity and varsity), which they last did in 2009.

Leach said, “In the league right now, we are probably the dominant team and then NCS we have a really great shot at winning.” The real competition for the team is located in Southern California, where perennial power Palos Verdes resides.  The Sea Kings won last year’s state title and are currently ranked #1 again this season.