Thursday, December 15, 2011

2011 Women's Cross CountryTeam Awards

Runner of the Year: Morgan Lira
Morgan Lira's tenacious running style has its risks but her aggressive tactics and competitive nature paid off as she became only the second runner in school history to dip below the 18 minute mark on the challenging Crystal Springs course. After opening the season with a win at Toro Park she pushed the pace at the Nike Pre-Nationals leading the pack through 2 miles in 11:26.  She finished Top 10 in the Championship race there in Portland and at the Clovis Invitational before winning the second WCAL race of the season.  After a runner up finish at WCAL she finished 3rd at the CCS Championship in 17:57.  Qualifying for her fourth State Championship she ran to her highest finish of her career finishing 15th.  She was named First Team All-County by the Mercury News and First Team All-CCS.
Warrior Award: Isabel Garcia
One of the most outstanding runners to ever come through Valley Christian, Isabel Garcia had a frustrating senior year.  A year long hamstring injury never healed keeping her from returning to form adding to her frustrations.  Running well off of her best throughout the season was hard for Garcia, who is #5 all time for the Warriors at the State Championship, but she continued to dedicate herself and give all she had despite the bad luck.  Garcia worked hard, cross training throughout the year and was a leader on the team demonstrating perseverance and courage.

Most Improved: Jessica Xu
Jessica Xu had the race of her life at the CCS Championship running the 6th fastest time on the Crystal Springs course in team history. She was rewarded with being named to the San Jose Mercury News All-County team which recognizes top runners from Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties.  Training hard over the summer paid off huge for the Sophomore as she improved over two minutes from her races as a freshman.  Jessica hit a huge breakthrough at the Nike Pre-Nationals where she ran 20:03 for the 5k course in Portland and carried that momentum through the CCS Championship where she ran 19:21.

Most Improved: Shannon Luu
Shannon Luu has blossomed into a top competitor for the Warriors finishing the season with outstanding performances at the CCS Championship (21:35) and the State Championship (21:40).  Luu's breakthrough came at the Nike Pre-Nationals in Portland where she finished 21st in the Division 3 race running 21:53 for the 5k course, her first time under 22 minutes.  Shannon improved over two minutes over last season and was a key member to the Varsity team this season placing her amongst the top 25 runners in school history.

Freshman of the Year: Ashley Lara
The future is bright for freshman Ashley Lara, who had one of the best freshman debuts in school history.  Lara opened the season running a spectacular 20:30 on the Toro Park course, her time was the fastest ever for a freshman and the #8 all-time for the Warriors.  She carried that momentum throughout the season running 20:05 at the CCS Championship where she was the #2 freshman in Division III.  Lara was a major contributor to the Varsity team this fall finishing in the top 3 runners every race this season where she helped the girls team to a school record and runner-up finish in the section championship.

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