Photos by Helena Fu
The South Pas cross country teams brought this year’s season to a close at the Southern Section Finals on Saturday, November 18, at the Riverside City XC course. Despite great efforts on both ends, the teams were unable to qualify for state, the boys’ team narrowly missing qualification by just one place. Both teams have performed better in the past, making this a disappointing loss.
Coming in eighth place, the boys just nearly clinched a spot at finals, but missed qualification by less than a minute. Per usual, senior Oliver Chang finished first for the Tigers with an impressive time of 15:48. Chang placed 27th out of 173 runners which shows the increased level of talent that the boys faced in these finals. Placing second for the Tigers, sophomore Sam Clark ran a 15:51, setting a personal record. Junior Alekzander Grijalva-Moreno followed close behind with a 16:13. Juniors Kai Dettman and Nicolo Porcu, and senior Alexander Gallardo came next with times of 16:35, 16:44, and 16:56, respectively. Closing out the Tigers was junior Michael Xiong running a 16:57.
The girls placed lower than they usually do due to increased competition and some injuries. They placed fifteenth with a total time of 102:00. In first place for South Pas was freshman Brooklyn Robinson with a time of 19:29, placing her at 30th overall. In second was senior Bailey Wu running a 19:55 followed by junior Lindsey Calva with a 20:31. Senior Celeste Amaya and junior Elizabeth Bock came next running times of 20:56 and 21:09, respectively. Finishing the race for South Pas were seniors Maddy Engelsman and Caroline Liu with times of 21:24 and 21:38.
“This was such a tough race for me because I’m battling a pretty bad shin injury,” said Engelsman. “I know the guys were also disappointed with their performance because they were so close to going to state, but everyone supported each other and showed what XC is really about and we all had an awesome time at CIF.”
Despite being unable to perform well enough to qualify for state, the cross country team still had an exceptional season. Though the team will miss its talented key seniors like Chang and Wu, several underclassmen are already on track to lead the team in the upcoming years of cross country.