Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Lady Warriors Finish 4th in CCS Championship, Shy of Goal

Toro Park, Salinas - The Lady Warriors battled to the finish but fell just short of their season goal finishing 4th in Division III, the top three advance to the state championship.

The Valley Christian girls cross country team knew they had their work cut out for them.  Coupled with the graduation of top runner Morgan Lira and injuries to two runners in their top five the team came into the season a long shot to return to the state meet but the team remained focused and battled on.  Their faith was renewed after finishing 3rd in the second WCAL meet and the emergence of freshmen Vanessa Giacalone and Leia Wang.  Valley Christian later went on to surpass the qualifying time at the WCAL Finals to solidify them as a legitimate contender to earn a state berth.

While top ranked Aptos and Saint Ignatius pulled away from the field, the Warriors were matched up evenly with WCAL rival Sacred Heart Cathedral who were both battling for third.  Top runners Ashley Lara and Jessica Xu were stellar pushing the pace early running the uphill first mile in 6:40.  Working together through the second mile Lara surged the later part of the race to pull away to finish 7th in 19:28, while Jessica Xu battled to the line finishing 14th in 19:54, respectably. 

The Warriors held an early lead as Lara and Xu finished ahead of their main rivals but Sacred Heart’s core runners in the 3-4-5 positions had a stellar day and held off a late charge by Shannon Luu, Kellianne Connolly and Amy Reyes.  

Shannon Luu put on a late push to finish in 38th place in 21:05, while Kellianne Connolly gutted out a 21:12 finishing time good for 41st place.  Amy Reyes (21:30) rounded out the scoring team in 48th, while Vanessa Giacalone and Leia Wang stepped up huge for the Warriors to finish as the 6th and 7th runners.

Despite six of seven runners finishing in a personal best time the team finished 21 points behind Sacred Heart in the final qualifying position.  

“We knew going in we were the underdogs and had to have the race of our life,” Coach Small said.  “Sacred heart is coached well and the SHC girls really battled and came through today.  But we gave them a good fight and the girls left it all out there today.”

The Warriors team time ranks fourth all-time reinforcing the effort on the day.

Ashley Lara advances as an individual to the State Championship on November 24 at Woodward Park in Fresno.

Full Results: CLICK HERE

1 comment:

  1. On behalf of the SHC team, great job to Valley Christian! The girls really challenged us. We knew we were in for a battle and that is what helped bring out the best in us. Isn't that what this is all about?! Congrats to Ashley for qualifying individually and to Coach Lee for a well deserved CCS Honor Coach Award.