Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Lady Warriors Dig Deep for Podium Finish at CCS Championship

DSC_0200Salinas, CA – For the seventh time in the past nine years the Lady Warriors have advanced as a team to compete in the California State Championship. It took every bit of three miles for the team to clinch their second place finish. Locked in a dynamic battle with Prospect and Saratoga the three teams were separated by just 10 points. With Aptos running away with the top spot that left multiple teams fighting for two qualifying positions.

Heading into the CCS Championships the Valley Christian girls cross country team was holding together by a thread. Embattled and ailing every single runner toed the line with an excuse, but before the race there was not a whisper of any complaint. Whether in the midst recovering from a cold or banged up from the season they had one mission, run as fast as you can today.

The race begins with a long gradual climb that hardly feels like a hill but can zap you if the pace is too fast in the early going. The Warriors started strong and found their early position in the pack and looked strong through the 1200 meters, however seem to hit a lull in the strategic middle mile. Coming up the “Camel Humps” a series of three steep hills at the 1.5 to 2 mile mark the team found themselves sitting on the outside looking in and would need to rally.

By halfway the Warriors were all sitting in the chase pack. With no front runners to earn low points and help bring down the team score it would be teamwork and running as a pack that they would rely on. Through the 1.5 mile split the top five were separated by just 24 seconds, the team sitting in positions 21 through 34.

Just after the two mile mark one of the top five had to stop, unable to go on; the challenge was squarely on the remaining six runners. Entering the final stage of the race the Warriors found another gear and dug deep. Every single one of the girls moved past their rivals the final 600 meters picking up key points, swinging the score in favor of the Warriors. The final push landed them their third podium finish in the last four years.

Nicole Favre, Camille Reed and Ashley Lara all came through together; Kiko Li just behind as the top four runners for the Warriors were separated by just 30 seconds. Vanessa Giacalone stepped up to the #5 spot to close out the team's scoring just 30 seconds later.

“It was an uphill battle for sure,” Vanessa Giacalone said following the race. “I knew the team was depending on me and that I had to give all that I had right there. I just had to fight, even though it was going to hurt.”

It was a close battle for not just a trophy but also a state spot; the third place team was just five points behind and fourth place just 10.

“Everyone had something going on, but they persevered and overcame,” Coach Small said. “Many were not feeling their best but their battle shows the heart and grit and character of our team."


Nedu Ndili had a terrific run on the day finishing the 3-mile course in 17:14, in eighteenth place. That time moves him to #4 all-time for the Warriors. Jeremy Dong finished 60th just off his personal best.

The Lady Warriors will compete in the CIF State Championship at Woodward Park in Fresno on November 21 at 10 am.

Full Results: CLICK HERE

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

CCS Championship Team Results

Full Results: Boys, Girls

Team Highlights:

  • The Valley Christian Girls finish second in CCS DIII. This is their seventh team appearance in the California State Championship in the past nine years.
  • Nicole Favre and Camille Reed earn recognition on the team's all-time list running the 15th and 16th fastest times in school history.
  • Nedu Ndili ran the fourth fastest time in school history, finishing 18th in the DIII race.

Valley Christian Team Results:

Nedu Ndili

Nicole Favre
Jeremy Dong

Camille Reed

Ashley Lara

Kiko Li

Vanessa Giacalone

Lauren Cicisly

Monday, November 10, 2014

Lady Warriors Advance; Finish Fourth in WCAL

WCAL Final 2014Belmont, CA - The Valley Christian Girls Cross Country team had no room for error and the team again delivered, advancing to their 14th consecutive CCS Championship.

The team came into the race needing all five runners to prevail in order to secure an automatic birth to the CCS Championship. Senior Ashley Lara led the charge moving up throughout the race to finish in 20:30 for the 2.95 mile course. The pack held together as the top four runners all were within 36 seconds of one another. Freshman Camille Reed ran a personal best 20:44, which is the eighth fastest mark for a freshman in school history. Nicole Favre and Kiko Li were stride for stride through the race keying off one another to both finish in 21:06. Kailey Eddy secured the team moving on finishing in 21:40.

Coaches continuously preach the importance of each runner and no better example of that came on Wednesday. Kailey Eddy undoubtably was in the midst of a bad day, well off even an average finish. Yet only one thought crossed her mind, "Finish!"

"I wasn't feeling good and it was discouraging," Eddy said after the race. "But I knew the team needed me, I had to stick it out and do what I could to help the girls get to CCS."

Her perseverance did not go unnoticed. Without Eddy, or any of the team's scoring runners, the team would have slipped two fifth place, missed the team time automatic qualifier and been in jeopardy of not advancing.

"I am proud of every one of our runners," Coach Small said. "They went out and battled today. It wasn't easy but they did what they had to do move on and got the job done. Our girls are gritty and tough and they fight to the finish."

The Lady Warriors will compete in the CCS Championship at Toro Park on November 15th.

For Full Results: CLICK HERE

WCAL Final 2014
WCAL Final 2014