Cross Country CIF Prelims 2019


Claire Qiu, Journalist

On Friday November 15th, there were noticeable absences from classes as the girls’ varsity cross country team drove to Riverside to compete in one of the most important cross country races of the season – CIF Prelims. Senior Nico Pence was there to race as an individual, being the only runner from the boys’ varsity team that qualified for CIF with an individual league rank of 2nd place. This amazing feat was noteworthy enough to be given recognition on the school’s daily news broadcast, although the possibility of a cross country fanbase, alas, still looks like it may only happen in the very far future.

Anticipation was running high, from the time the team met at 6:45 a.m. until the last runner crossed the finish line. Conditions at the course were less than favorable; the course was dusty, riddled with potholes and dry grass, and the morning air was extremely chilly.

The CdM girls ran an extremely strong race, demonstrating all the hard work they had done up to this point, and finished first in their heat, well ahead of the competition. As always, senior Maya Buchwald led the team, coming to finish with a time of 19:07 and fourth place overall. Senior Aleks Crampton came in sixth place with a time of 19:15, followed closely by sophomore Claire Qiu in 23rd place, and junior Sydney Sharp in 26th place, each with personal records of 19:32 and 19:34 respectively. Sophomore Jacqueline Padilla also scored an impressive personal record time of 19:53 and came in 37th place. Sophomore Sara Miller and senior Julia Tung rounded out the final team score with scores of 20:20, 57th place, and 20:29, 62nd place, respectively. “I think the girls were surprised at what they did, but I wasn’t really,” head coach Bill Sumner said afterwards. “I told them before the meet that we are a little bit better than we were; inch by inch we have become a better team. Other teams may have had faster individual runners, but we had a better game strategy.”

Senior Nico Pence also ran a fast race, taking it upon himself to represent CdM boys’ team with a whopping eleventh place overall, and an impressive time of 15:46. His finish in the top fifteen runners overall qualified him for next week’s CIF Finals. “I thought Nico had a good race,” said varsity boys’ coach Alfonso Silvas Jr. “He used his varsity experience to his advantage and set himself in good positions throughout the race. We had a game plan and he executed well at CIF Prelims.” When asked about how he felt about his performance, Pence gave a self-critical view, stating that “during the race I was counting the runners ahead of me the entire time because I knew that I had to get top 15 to qualify for the next round. I felt I could have run faster, but I focused on top 15 and finished 11th place overall…I may have to drop my time by 30 seconds and try to get top 10 overall [to qualify for state championships].”

The girls’ overall team score and rank means that they will also be headed to CIF Finals next Saturday, November 23rd, which will be held at the same course and possibly against even tougher competition than what they faced on Friday. The school will, as always, be cheering for them. Best of luck, ladies!