By Maya Williamson
Assoc. Feature Editor
Photo by Hana Tyszka
The SPHS cross country teams competed at the Mt. SAC Invitational on Friday, October 2. Mt. SAC is infamous for its difficult three mile course as the largest cross country competition in the world.
Many injuries plagued the varsity teams with three athletes not being able to compete. On girls’ varsity, Sarah Uriarte was replaced by Maylis Whetsel (80, 23.27) because of a foot injury. On the boys’ side, first and third place runners, senior Kieran Press-Reynolds and sophomore Alekzander Grijalva were both out due to shin splints. They were replaced by JV runners senior Wayne Monical (95, 17.13) and Sam Clark (107, 17.27). Despite the losses from both core varsity teams, cross country performed admirably, especially in light of the challenging course and considerable heat.
Boys’ varsity competed in the Boy’s Division 3 Sweepstakes, placing 15th out of 18 teams. The squad was lead by junior Oliver Chang, individually earning the 15th scoring position with a time of 15:40. The next South Pasadena runners were, senior team captain Jaehyung Choi (70, 16.45), Monical, and junior Ben Clark (99, 27.19). The last three SPHS scoring positions were filled by senior Robert Steele (104, 17.25), freshman Sam Clark, and junior David Seo (116, 17.59).
“The team as a whole did very well,” Clarke said, “Of course, I can’t really judge how strong this varsity team is because I’ve only been on cross country for one year, but I know we definitely have a lot of very experienced runners”
Girls’ varsity achieved 5th place out of 19 teams on Friday with a runner average of 21:43. Sophomore Elizabeth Bock came in 21st place with a time of 21:19 to lead the girls. Following close behind was junior Maddy Engelsman (24,21:23), then came junior Bailey Wu (33, 21.42) and sophomore Lindsey Calva (35, 21.44). Rounding off the pack were junior Caroline Liu (60,22.29) and Whetsel (80,23.27). Unfortunately, senior team captain Katherine Conte blacked out mid race and was not able to complete the course.
“I think that the girls performed very well considering that many were coming off of injuries and sickness, in addition to the lack of heat training this year. Despite most us getting slightly slower times than that of last year, every girl gave it their 100% and there’s nothing more that we’d want,” Liu said.
The JV boys and girls’ teams placed ninth out of 22 and 15th out of 17, respectively. The Frosh-Soph team also competed, but the sophomore girls did not place because the team only sent one athlete.
The team is looking forward to CIF League finals coming up in a little over a week, which they believe they will be well prepared for. Their next race is the Apache Invitational this Friday, October 28.