XC Sweeps Individual League Titles

Michael Navruzyan, Staff Writer

Claiming six of six individual crowns, as well as five of six team titles, the Cross Country team ended their league season at the DFAL championship Meet in Pleasanton on November 9.

Though top runners Bridgie Leach and Rachel Johnson had just returned to the lineup after minor injuries, the varsity girls squad dominated with a low score of 21, half the total of runner-up Las Lomas.  Leach defended her individual title with an impressive surge in the final mile, while Mary Orders finished 4th and Sarah Cella crossed the line in 5th.

Johnson and Robin Powell also fought their way to top 10 finishes, earning All-League selection.

Defending state champion Aidan Goltra easily outdistanced the rest of the field in the varsity boys’ race, finishing in the third fastest time ever run on the 2.95 mile course.  He was one of five Cougars to earn All-League honors as the boys team wrapped up their undefeated league campaign.

Ben Weinberg was the Cougars’ second runner, finishing in 6th place.

“I think that the real excitement in this meet is because all six squads are contending for team titles. It’s not about any one individual, but an entire team effort,” he said.

According to Woolridge, the Cross Country team had the opportunity to sweep the league for the first time in five years. As it turned out, Campolindo came up one division short, with the junior variety girls finishing in 3rd place. Nevertheless, Woolridge was still impressed with his team’s performance, citing the high number of individual improvements.

Jared Yabu and Jonathan Semenza finished 1st and 2nd respectively in the frosh soph boys’ division.  Their squad won the race with an impressive 26 points.  Las Lomas was 2nd with 51.

Semenza was proud of his performance. “I started out the run pretty good. At first, I was trying to pace with freshman JJ Yabu. After the first mile, I felt pretty good and in the second mile, I was just trying to finish the race,” he said.

“I think that Miguel Baliwag had a great performance. He finished fourth in his two mile race,” said Semenza. Baliwag had an exciting kick that vaulted him from 10th to 4th in the final stretch.

The junior varsity boys were lead by race winner Chris Garvey, who covered the 1.9 mile distance in 10:20.  His team extended their DFAL title streak to seven years.

The winning frosh soph girls’ squad was helped by the 1-2 finish of Riley Felt and Ann Cherayil.

The varsity athletes now advance to the North Coast Championships to be held on November 23 at Hayward High School.  Both teams are currently ranked #1 in the NCS by Crosscounryexpress.com.