On a brutal day that saw temperatures soar near 85 degrees with high humidity everyone knew the race would be tough. It was a shock to the system following the cooler weather and rain storm just a few days before but the Warriors set out motivated to do their best.
Ryan Ensor led the team with a finish of 18:05 for 26th place. This marks his best placing in WCAL action this year and was a personal best for the Crystal Springs course, despite the tough conditions. "There are a few constants when racing," said Coach Small. "Everyone runs the same course and everyone has to run in the same conditions. Cross country is always about racing, not about time and that is what Ryan did today."
The cards almost fell into place allowing Ensor to qualify as an individual to CCS. "He knew who he had to beat and did exactly that," said Coach Small. "We talked about it before the race and knew that we would need help from other teams to qualify as an individual. The only thing we can control is how we compete. He showed the heart and toughness to compete the way he did. I am excited to see how he does next year."
Beating all but one runner from Mitty setup the potential to get an individual qualifier to CCS but St. Francis had a tough day and did not qualify as a team, which meant that the top three runners from St. Francis moved on. "Next season starts Monday," said Ryan Ensor.
He will take a brief break in the spring as he plays baseball for the Warriors but he has high expectations for next season.
While Ensor was a break out runner for the Warriors this year the majority of the talent returns for next year including Dustin Laucella who was the #2 runner for the Warriors at the WCAL Championship. Laucella has taken on a leadership role this season and has the team motivated to compete. He was followed by freshman Alex George and sophomore Alex Ascencio. Sophomore Nick Staub has also blossomed and has shown potential for the upcoming years. There is a huge learning curve with young runners and the future is bright for this team.
Finishing #4 for the Warriors is graduating Senior Andrew McCann. His leadership has helped the team match their best placing ever in WCAL action and has proven to be an incredible competitor. Also graduating is Ross Martinez who was the 7th finisher for the Warriors.