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PRHS Cross Country runs the town

The+boys+team+poses+with+their+plaque+and+medals%2C+earned+by+their+second+place+accomplishment.+
The boys team poses with their plaque and medals, earned by their second place accomplishment.

Bearcat boys place second at Asics Invitational in Clovis

Both the boys and girls varsity cross country teams traveled to Woodward Park in Clovis to compete in the annual Asics Invitational on Oct. 6, where hundreds of teams compete to place and make some of their best times of the season. With the girls running first, the team arrived to the course around seven o’clock in the morning, the sky still dark and the weather brisk. As they warmed up the regular 45 minutes before their race, they prepared to face the familiar course once again, as the entire PRHS cross country team had raced there just a few weeks prior. With the weather cooler and their race time so early in the morning, their chances to run personal bests increased.

At 8:30, the seven top female runners lined up at their starting position, labeled “1B”. With so many other competitors surrounding them, they squeezed into lines of two, waiting anxiously for the starting gun to signal them to start. Hearing the boom of the gun, they took off, weaving between the crowds of fellow racers. The 3.1 mile course took them over sloping hills, around loops, and back to the finish line, next to the starting line at which the race began.

Loff

Sophomore Madi Loff led the team, finishing with a time of 20:25. Junior Jasmine Rangel was close behind with a time of 20:28.8. The team placed 11th out of 31 teams, beating rival Arroyo Grande by 328.

“The weather was much cooler than the last time we ran at Woodward because we raced so early, but the early start time was rough because we stayed up the night before to go to homecoming,” said Loff, who improved her time on the course by 30.3 seconds.

Next up was the boys’ race. Leading the pack was senior Pablo Cortez, varsity runner of four years. He finished sixth overall with a time of 15:54.2. Close behind was junior Damian Gavilan, who placed seventh with a time of 15:55. With the rest of the team racing their hardest, they earned second place out of 32 teams, earning medals to commemorate the accomplishment.

A highly anticipated race of the season, the Asics Invitational now has a new significance to the PRHS Cross Country team; because the school’s sports have moved from the Southern Section to the Central Section, Woodward Park is now the location of the cross country team’s CIF finals and state meets, meaning that if the team were to progress to these meets, they would need to be familiar with the course in order to race as well as possible.

After this meet, the entire PRHS Cross Country team will be heading to Cal Poly’s Fairbanks Cross Country Course to run the CCAA Mountain League Mid Season Meet on Oct 11. This meet will prepare the team for the upcoming league championships on Nov. 7, where if the varsity teams place fourth or better, they will proceed to CIF finals.

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