Following one of the best seasons ever in school history is not going to be easy for the Boys Cross country team as the top four runners graduated leaving a void that will be difficult to fill. Six course records fell last year by the Warriors #1 runner Joe Garcia. 2010 brings together a completely new group of runners as returning veterans, along with talented newcomers, are eager to make up the difference left by last year’s seniors.
The first day of practice saw a motley crew of athletes assembled for the start of the 2010 cross country season. Sweltering in 100 degree heat waiting to get started with the season a core of 20 or so boys makes up this year’s team, who are mostly underclassman. However leadership abounds by the returning upperclassman that has set the tone in workouts for this year’s team. “Varsity Mentality” is the catch phrase this early season: no matter your age or ability the team will train and have the heart and mindset of a champion. That was apparent last week as more athletes than ever made it to the top of Quicksilver on the annual San Cristobal Mine run, a brutal 10 mile run with nearly 1400 feet of climbing stretched over the first 5 miles.
Leading the charge in the early season is first year runner Ryan Ensor, a sophomore who is blazing the early season workouts. He recently ran a hilly 5 mile tempo in under 32 minutes and led the pack up the hill in the San Cristobal Mine run. He has set the tone in every workout this early season and has made a statement that he is the man to beat this year. Andrew McCann and Dustin Laucella have stepped up to fill the leadership roles left by last year’s graduates. Laucella is the top returner from last year’s squad and posted a tough 18:59 personal best for three miles at the second WCAL meet at Shoreline. He has worked hard through the summer and will look for his first sub 18 minute run this fall. Andrew McCann and Ross Martinez will also be key members to this year’s squad and bring the leadership and experience needed to lead the team.
Also expected to be key contributors on this year’s team are Sophomores Alex Ascencio and Eyobed Mesfun. Both were very competitive on the track last season and boast personal bests of 5 minutes for the mile.
The Warriors open the season this Saturday at UCSC in a practice meet against Santa Cruz High School at 10 am.