Photos by Hana Tyszka
Tiger cross country battled against rivals La Cañada and San Marino in all divisions at its first Rio Hondo league race September 23 at La Crescenta Valley Park. Team and individual results have been announced. The varsity girls took second to La Cañada while the varsity boys secured first place. Overall, individuals’ times were significantly slower than those of Woodbridge, as today’s course was abundant with hills. Various members of both varsity teams were ill as well, which may have also affected their levels of performance.
The girls’ squad garnered a total of 46 points and was led by freshman Elizabeth Bock in her first varsity race. Bock placed third individually with a time of 20:36. Following not far behind came senior Emily Ye with a time of 20:52 and individual rank of sixth and senior Maaike Wielenga with a time of 20:56 and seventh place overall. Senior Briana Nuñez (21:41, 14th individually) and sophomore Bailey Wu (22:05, 18th individually) took fourth and fifth in the team. Despite every runner’s remarkable performance, Bock’s third place triumph was undoubtedly the highlight of the race.
“Elizabeth ran a fantastic race and paced herself very well,” said team captain and senior Amador Lagunas. “It was very exciting to see her come in as our top runner!”
Varsity boys accumulated a total of 34 points, claiming first place and defeating rivals San Marino and La Cañada at 59 and 64 points, respectively. Junior Kieran Press-Reynolds set the pace with a time of 16:27, placing first individually. Sophomore Oliver Chang was less than a minute behind at 17:18, which earned him an individual placing of fourth. Sophomore Ben Clark placed third in the team and eighth overall with a time of 17:54. Freshman Francesco Fortunelli (17:56, tenth individually) and senior Raymond Gilmartin (18:01, 11th individually) finished fourth and fifth in the team to clinch the last two scoring positions. Unfortunately, unclear signs and vague signalers directed front-runner Press-Reynolds and two other runners incorrectly. After assessing the situation, league referees decided against disqualifying Press-Reynolds and allowed him to keep his first place win.
“Both varsity teams showed a strong performance today,” Nuñez said. “Even though the girls didn’t win, I think we have a shot at claiming the league title in both divisions.”
Boys’ non-varsity teams also performed exceptionally, with the JV squad claiming the top five places overall in their division and achieving a score of perfect 15. Frosh-soph boys also took first in their division.
Unfortunately the girls’ JV team fell behind La Cañada, breaking its three-year undefeated streak.
The Tigers will continue their season this Saturday, September 26 at Dana Hills Invitational and next Saturday, October 3 at Staub Barnes Invitational, both of which are non-varsity only races. The varsity teams are set to race again on Saturday, October 10 at the statewide Clovis Invitational.