Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Lady Warriors Finish Second at CCS Championship; Qualify for Sixth State Championship in Eight Years!

DSC_0100It wasn’t easy.  But things worthwhile rarely are.

For the sixth time in eight years the girls cross country team will compete in the State Championship.  In each and every appearance the road has been littered with obstacles.  This one would be no different.

At the conclusion of last season the Warriors finished a heartbreaking fourth, one spot outside of the qualifying teams.  It was not for a lack of effort, nearly every runner ran a personal best that day but after losing two of their top five runners earlier in the season combined with outstanding performances by the competition it was too much to overcome. 

Fast forward to summer.  Motivated to get back to the State Championship the team put in consistent training, hitting the trails early and often.  Meeting daily shortly after sunrise motivations ran high despite the reality there was a long way to go and months of hard training ahead.  But the girls would not get through the summer months unscathed. Two of their top runners succumbed to injury before the season even began, a set of unfortunate circumstances that saw their top returning runner Ashley Lara suffer a broken ankle and Shannon Luu, the Warriors number three finisher at last year’s CCS Championship, break a bone in her lower leg.  Freak accidents suffered from every day activities.  The girls pressed on.  The team grew.  Bones healed.

This year nearly 40 girls came out for the cross country team but any potential success sat squarely on the veteran leadership.  That leadership was on display at the section championship on Saturday.  Coming off a third place finish in the WCAL Championship the week prior the girls cross country team found their stride when it counted most. 

Kailey Eddy took to the lead pack through the first mile.  Starting on a steep downhill the course descends rapidly the first quarter mile dropping nearly a hundred feet in a short amount of time only to later turn around and climb right back up to the mile marker.  The Warriors were off to a great start with the entire scoring team sitting in the top 25.  Eddy passed the marker right at six flat with the entire team in tow.  Jessica Xu, Ashley Lara and Sara VanWagoner crossed just behind in 6:15 while Karen Mac and Nicole Favre hit the mile in 6:30; Leia Wang in 6:59.  The team then went to work in the later miles.  Working together the Warriors moved up through the pack putting all five scoring runners in the top 20 by the finish. 

Eddy moved up into seventh earning all-CCS honors finishing in a personal best time 19:19.  Closing strong over the final mile VanWagoner moved up into eighth in 19:25.  She was followed by Ashley Lara (20:00) and Jessica Xu (20:02).  Lara has been diligent in her cross training after suffering an ankle injury in August and was questionable heading into the race but her warm-up felt good and she was determined to help the team to state and her performance did exactly that.  Jessica Xu has been a consistent veteran force all year and once again she came through.

Nicole Farve has been a pleasant surprise for the Warriors improving every race she has toed the line.  Improving nearly 20 seconds from her breakthrough race a week ago the sophomore is one of the all-time best for the team finishing in 20:22, the fastest fifth runner ever for the Warriors sitting at #19 all-time for crystal springs.  Running the 400 last season Favre has consistently shown she is just as successful, if not more at the longer distances. 

Karen Mac was looking for redemption this season after missing most of her junior year and she found it, returning to top form, another welcome surprise for the team.  Running a personal best of 20:35 she is currently #21 all-time for the Warriors.  Leia Wang rounded out the scoring for the team fishing slightly off her mark from last week in 23:19.  Wang has been steady all summer and fall putting in the work to make the varsity team.  She was solid once again finishing 59th.


Two individual boys advanced to the CCS Championship and had impressive results.  The Warriors have improved and grown dramatically the past few years.  This year saw fifteen boys run 18 minutes or under for three miles, the majority of whom are underclassman hinting that good things could be in the near future for the boys team.  That was exemplified by a second place finish in the freshman boys division at the WCAL Championship.

Leading the way for the Warriors is junior Jason Li and sophomore Jeremy Dong.  Li had an impressive track season last spring where he was a top 800 and 1600 runner at the Frosh-Soph level in the WCAL.  He carried that momentum into the fall and continued to show improvement throughout the season.  He found his stride the last few races running 17:00 at the section championship.  Starting with the pack Jason Li and Jeremy Dong started with a brisk first mile.  Both held onto the pace passing two miles in 11:05 and 11:25.  Li made a move on a strategic hill with 1200 to go moving up to finish in 21st place.  Dong who was suffering cramping battled through finshing just shy of his mark the week prior in 17:57 in 54th place.

The girls cross country team will compete in the CIF State Championship at Woodward Park in Fresno on November 30th.   

Full Results: CLICK HERE


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