Associate Principal Competes at XC Invite


Gracie Woidat, Lifestyle editor

Associate Principal Laura Lee joined the cross country team at Hidden Valley Park in Martinez for the annual Ed Sias Invitational on September 14.

Lee decided to run in the community race, which is open to anyone, including coaches, parents and youth, after head cross country coach Chuck Woolridge sent an invitation to faculty members at the beginning of the month.

An avid runner since competing in high school, Lee has completed 3 marathons: the San Diego Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon, the Portland Marathon, and the Chicago Marathon.  As Woolridge noted in his email to staff, Lee ran in the high school division of the Ed Sias meet in 1995 as a member of her Livermore squad.  Her high school time was 15:07.

This time around, Lee completed the hilly 2-mile course in 15:57. Lee says the experience proved that she is “mentally stronger now than [she] was in high school.”

“My advice to high school runners would be to keep with running, because that mental strength is just as important as that physical strength,” said Lee. “Some of my best and lifelong friends are my running friends, and it is such a great community.”

While Lee was finishing the community race, many high school athletes were just warming up for their own contests.  The invitational, which has been held annually for 35 years, featured 12 different high school races throughout the day, including frosh soph divisions for both girls and boys.

Campolindo’s freshmann Ellie Buckley won the girls’ frosh soph race while her teammate freshman Alexander Lodewick won the boys’.

“I started off pretty slow in my race, but I wanted to just continuously move up and pass people, so that was my main mentality. I just wanted to keep a good pace and really work it up the hard hills,” said Buckley, who finished with a time of 13:00, nearly 30 seconds ahead of the 2nd place runner.

The varsity boys earned 2nd place in the small-school division, behind section rivals Maria Carillo. “I’m happy with where our performance was, as a team. We ran tough, we ran some nice times, and a lot of us achieved personal bests today which was really great to see in the opening of the season,” said varsity runner senior Sam Morasch.

“Maria Carillo’s boys’ team is currently ranked 1st in the state, and they beat us today so we definitely have some work to do,” said assistant coach Andy Lindquist. “Miramonte’s varsity girls’ team also beat us today, but I think when we’re at full strength we should be able to be pretty close to them,” he added.

According to Lindquist, freshmen Quinn Guthrie and Anna Wilson also had stand-out performances. They both made significant improvements on their previous personal bests with times of 14:08 and 14:07, respectively.

While Campolindo served as the host team for the event, which included 54 schools from across the state, Morasch said that “hearing [Coach] Chuck over the microphone through the loudspeakers” made him feel that the team was “at the center of the high school cross country universe.”