Ryan Ensor has only been running for a few weeks but you could never tell by the confidence he showed in leading the entire 2 mile race this past Saturday at the UCSC campus in the season opener against Santa Cruz High School. Ensor took the lead from the start narrowly losing in a sprint to the finish to Anthony LaFrance of Santa Cruz, Ensor’s time of 13:12 ranks him #3 on Warriors all-time list for the course. “Ryan went after it and that is the kind of tenacity you want to see when racing,” Coach Small said. “He works hard in practice and I think we are going to see some really good things from him this year.”
Following Ensor in 5th place was Alex Ascencio who led a slew of Warriors who filled the remainder of the top 10. Acencio’s time of 14:12 is almost a 1 minute improvement over last year’s time and moves into #6 on the Warriors all-time list. Freshman Alex George ran tough in his first race running 14:26 which betters the top Freshman mark set by Ascencio a year ago in the inaugural event. Evan Kennedy, Andrew McCann, Dustin Laucella and Ross Martinez rounded out the Warriors squad that placed an impressive 7 runners in the top 10.
In the girls race Morgan Lira picked up where she left off last year finishing first in a time of 13:55 bettering Isabel Garcia’s meet record set last year (14:11). Garcia finished 3rd over-all in a time of 15:16 and was followed closely by Kellianne Connolly who finished 4th in 15:18. Connolly improved 1:21 over last year’s time. Freshman Jessica Xu (16:01) moved into the top 10 all-time for the Warriors with a strong race that bettered the top freshman mark last year by 38 seconds. Morgan Rosa-Diniz rounded out the scoring team finishing 5th for the Warriors in 16:34.
Outside of the top performances one highlight was impressive marks by the freshman. In addition to Jessica Xu’s outstanding run Karen Mac (17:04), Megan Gillespie (17:23), Cydney Caradonna (17:27) & Shannan Luu (18:14) make up a talent core of freshman ready to make some noise in the WCAL this year.
The team travels to Toro Park in Salinas Saturday, home to this year’s CCS Championship to participate in the Early Bird Invitational. In unique set-up athletes participate by grade level and will have a great opportunity to see how they stack up against the best in their class from teams throughout Northern and Central California. Races begin with the Freshman Girls at 9 am.