By Isabel Barbera and Olivia Chiu
Photos by Hana Tyszka
Boys and girls’ cross country pitted itself against teams from across Southern California today at the annual Staub Barnes Invitational. Both varsity and non-varsity competed seeing as the team recently found out its yearly varsity-only trip to Clovis Invitational near Fresno was cancelled. Despite missing multiple key runners, the team defeated league contenders and established its status as fierce competitors for the league title.
The varsity girls’ squad took fourth out of six teams in Division I, beating its Rio Hondo league rivals, La Cañada, by a margin of 38 points. Senior Emily Ye achieved the impressive feat of finishing fifth out of 44 runners, leading the Tiger pack with a time of 19:56. Freshman Elizabeth Bock followed not far behind at 20:19 and ninth place. Taking the third and fourth scoring spots for the Tigers freshman Lindsey Calva (20:45, 20th) and senior Maaike Wielenga (20:49, 21st) crossed the finish line within four seconds of one another. Sophomore Bailey Wu secured the last scoring position at 21:10, placing 26th.
“Today’s race was very rewarding for the varsity girls,” said Wielenga. “Beating La Cañada was really surprising and exciting, and I think we may have a chance at reclaiming our status as league champs.”
Boys’ varsity once again performed outstandingly, securing first of seven teams in Division III even without top runners junior Kieran Press-Reynolds, sophomore Oliver Chang and junior Jaehyung Choi, who were unable to attend due to personal reasons and injuries. Junior Robert Steele led the boys at 17:42, placing second individually out of 51 total runners. Freshman Francesco Fortunelli tailed closely behind, finishing in 17:46 and placing fourth overall. Sophomore David Seo (17:51, fifth), sophomore Ben Clark (17:56, sixth) and senior Raymond Gilmartin (17:56, seventh) brought the team to a total of 24 points. Boys’ varsity defeated its Rio Hondo League counterpart, Temple City, by a tremendous gap of 108 points.
The varsity teams were originally scheduled to race at statewide Clovis Invitational on October 10, but due to the unfortunate late registration by Coach Soto, the teams will not have the chance to compete this year. Instead, both varsity and non-varsity are preparing for Thursday, October 15, when they will again face their Rio Hondo league opponents in the second league meet of the season. The location thus far is undecided as Lacy Park will be closed at the time.