Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Warriors Battle at CCS Championship

With hopes held high of qualifying for their 5th straight State Championship the Warriors knew they were in the fight for their life. It was going to take a breakthrough performance from every runner on the team to make it happen, and still there was no guarantee. The battle for State was going to be a grueling 3 mile race separated by mere points between 6 teams, and after qualifying the past four years it was Valley Christian that was the underdog hoping to pull an upset.

In a surge of nervous energy Morgan Lira blasted off and took command of the race from the gun. Leading eventual winner Rachel Hinds of Saint Ignatius and Nikki Hiltz of Aptos through the uphill mile in 6:08 Lira held her lead through 1.5 miles but her early push took its toll. She hit the wall at the camel humps, a monstrous uphill placed strategically at the start of the second half of the race. By the top of the hill she fell back to 4th where she rallied back to finish in 18:58. Her time is just off her personal best set earlier this year and also qualified her as an individual to the State Championship.

Just behind her was Emily Blaha who was in a battle of her own to finish in the top 10. She has been one of the most consistent scorers for the team the past three years finishing in the top 15 since her freshman year, this year’s 10th place finish being her best. Working through the race she held on to finish in a personal best time of 19:55 and qualify for the State Championship.

Isabel Garcia has had a rough season, injuring her hamstring just weeks into the season. It kept her out for nearly 6 weeks and she is just now starting to find her groove. Running 21:20 for the three mile course she improved dramatically from her league race just a week ago and ran with heart putting on a dramatic sprint at the finish to pass 5 runners in the last 200 meters. Fighting all the way to the finish, her hamstring still bothering her, she never gave up. "I did the best I could, I had nothing left," she said after her race.

Sarah Blaha has been a surprise for us this season for the Warriors and has picked up the slack this year scoring as the #3 and 4 runner all year. Finishing in 21:53 her time ranks her #15 on the Warriors all-time list. Rounding out the scoring team was Jessica Xu who finished just 4 seconds off of her best set earlier in the year. Morgan Rosa-Diniz (22:51) and Kellianne Connolly (22:52) rounded out the Varsity team.

After the dust settled the Warriors finished 6th place in the highly competitive D3 race. The end result was not what the Warriors were hoping for but each and every runner battled and gave it their all. By finishing in the top 10 at the CCS Championship Saturday Morgan Lira and Emily Blaha advance to the California State Championship November 27th at Woodward Park in Fresno. Lira finished 4th in a time of 18:58, while Blaha finished 10th in 19:55.

D3 Individual Results: CLICK HERE
D3 Team Scores: CLICK HERE 
Full Combined Results (ALL DIVISIONS): CLICK HERE  

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