Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Girls Team Sets Record at Mt. Sac Invitational

The Lady Warriors have battled sore hamstrings, hip flexors, wisdom teeth being pulled, shin splints, heat exhaustion, strange European viruses and daunting practices all season long.  Perhaps that is why the three mile course at Mt. Sac, one of the hardest courses you can run in high school, didn’t seem so bad.  In fact the Warriors broke through with their best performance of the year setting a team record for the course.

Led by an outstanding Morgan lira the Warriors finished 10th in the Girls D3 Sweepstakes race which featured some of the best teams in California.  Starting fast at the mile Morgan Lira set a blistering pace and led the field through the mile in 5:31.  She continued to push the pace and held the lead through a demanding uphill called the switchbacks before losing it on a steep technical downhill that favors the southern California runners familiar with the course.  Closing the gap and leading the chase pack was Emily Blaha who also had an outstanding first mile passing in 5:44.  Powering up and down the switch backs she closed the gap and was sitting in a top 25 position.  Sarah Blaha, Kellianne Connolly, Isabel Garcia and Morgan Rosa-Diniz in the main pack went though the mile just over  6 minutes.

After another demanding uphill at the 1.5 mile mark then another about 2.3 miles the race opened up and the Warriors went to work.  Lira sprinted to finish 4th in 18:19, while Emily Blaha smashed her previous best and had the breakthrough she has been looking for the past 4 years finishing in 18:36, which is #3 all time and her best race at three miles ever!

Just as impressively was Sarah Blaha who despite this being only her third race of the season ran like a veteran pro moving up the entire race (often with a smile on her face) to run her lifetime best of 20:46, her first time under 21 minutes for 3 miles!  She was joined by Kellianne Connolly (21:21) who has consistently been a top runner for the team.

After battling a hamstring injury that has sidelined her since the Early Bird Invitational on September 11, Isabel Garcia battled back and had a superb day running 21:38 in her first race back in over a month.  She was followed by Morgan Rosa-Diniz (21:55) and Veronica Lane (24:32) rounding out the Varsity team.

Outstanding performances from the team puts the Warriors back in the hunt for a top 3 finish, and state birth, at the CCS Championship November 13 at Toro Park.  First they must battle Division rivals Saint Ignatius and Sacred Heart, the top two teams in D3 at the WCAL Championship where they will attempt to qualify to CCS.


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