|The Warriors at the 2011 UCSC Watermelon Run
Sean Davis is a veteran runner on the track but entering his first cross country time trial he was a little nervous. The WCAL Champion at 800 meters last spring, running 2-3 miles through the hills seems a little...far. "I didn't want to go out too hard and pay the price in the end," Davis said. "I really wanted to run a negative split and get a feel for what it is like to run hard for 2 miles."
Davis' nervousness was quickly put to rest as he strode out to the front of the pack and settled into his pace. Starting the first mile, an up-hill climb through the redwoods on the UCSC campus, he set a hard tempo up to the half way point and then picked up the pace the last mile. Davis went on to win the team time trial in record record time of 11:37 for the 2.08 miles bettering Joe Garcia's record of 12:11 set in 2009.
Finishing runner-up was Ryan Ensor who took out the first mile running just a few strides off of Davis. Ensor pushed hard all the way to the end crushing his personal best by 18 seconds finishing in 12:58. Ensor becomes the 4th runner to crack the 13 minute mark in the last three years and after a solid summer of training is poised to push the pace this fall. Eyobed Mesfun (13:17), Eric Ortiz (13:26) and Dustin Laucella (13:36) rounded out the Varsity Top 5 and showed that this team has is sights on big things this season.
In all this was the best showing ever for the boys team with 5 runners finishing in 13:36 or better. They bettered the best team time (a combination of the top 5 runners on the team) by more than 2:30.
In the girl's time trial Morgan Lira led from the gun bettering her team record by 22 seconds to finish in 13:33. Just as impressive was the pack of runners finishing in the 2 through 5 spots with just an 11 second spread. Kellianne Connolly led a pack of runners crossing the line in 15:09. She was was followed by Jessica Xu (15:11), Ashley Lara (15:11) and Isabel Garcia (15:20).
The biggest improvement of the day came from Shannon Luu who was 6th for the Warriors in 16:11, a 2:03 improvement over last year. Megan Gillespie rounded out the Varsity top 7 finishing in 17:05, which was nearly a 20 second improvement over last year.
The Girls team also had the fastest team time in the three year history of the Watermelon Run running a combined time of 74:24.
"Of course this all means nothing now other than we are having a good start," Coach Small said keeping things in perspective. "Hopefully the momentum continues into Early Bird and the rest of the season."
The Warriors officially open their season at the Early Bird Invitational at Toro Park in Salinas on Saturday, September 10th.