*note: PR times based on official athletic.net records, which exclude Time Trial records.
There was an eerie silence at the finish line as, all eyes on the clock, the seconds ticked by.
And then Nico Young rounded the final bend, sending the crowd wild. We all then knew that he was going to do it.
The Newbury Park Senior crossed the finish line – OUR finish line – at 13:39.7, becoming the fastest high school cross country 3-miler in US history, and the ONLY high school boy ever to go under 13:40. And it happened at the 39th annual Woodbridge Invitational!
Hands up, anyone who DIDN’T get chills, witnessing that moment?! Yep! That's what we thought!
It was a weekend of smashed records, all the way from national down to individual level. It was also for some a weekend of unexpected setbacks and disappointments. To all those athletes: WE know you can do it, YOU know you can do it, and you ARE going to do it when it counts at the upcoming league meets!
Big congratulations to the many athletes who braved the 100 degree weather to set personal and season records* at the meet. Freshmen Ashley and Ingrid continued their steady gains, along with Sophomores Grace, Mayu, Seina, Sam and Katelyn, all celebrating new official personal records. Cordelia Shipman managed a fabulous season-best despite the intense heat, coming in under 29 minutes and knocking a full 3 minutes off her season PR. Among the Freshman and Sophomore boys, Ryan DeHaas and Nicholas Lee set a PR AND broke sub-20 for the first time, and team mates Ethan Huang and Blake Simon both came close to that sub-20 mark. Congratulations also to Andrew Chiou, Aska Uchida and Yoshihiro Yamamoto who all also set new personal records, and to Youssef who came within a second of his PR – you’ll get it next time!
There were a sea of season and all-time PR’s among the Junior and Senior boys too – nice work Luke Fransen, Will H, Caleb, Thomas, Matthew, Kanishk, Gabriel, Ruosuke, and Joel Whitson who has now officially nailed that sub-17!
Ask any serious runner where their most painful spot is, and they won’t answer, as expected, with hips, knees or ankles, but will reply with “sitting by the sidelines, watching my team mates race.” Lauren Tsai faced that pain on Saturday night, and demonstrated her commitment to her team, making the difficult choice to sit this one out and forego a chance at personal glory on this super fast course, knowing her team needs her fully fit for the upcoming league meets.
And cheered on by Lauren the girls did us all proud! In the Rated Varsity race, four of our five came in under 19 minutes and in the top 100 to medal, Sarah Klem leading the charge with an incredible 17:57.6, running sub-18 for the first time and already achieving her season goal. Alison Ho lettered with her 19:26.8 finish, setting a new official personal record along with Sierra Shaver and Mia Washida.
For the boys, also running Rated Varsity, Russell Stottlemyer blew away his previous 16+ record to come in at an incredible 15:28.9. Well done Russ! SO proud of you! Ryan Welton finished in 11th place, and is now tantalizingly close to the 14’s with a new PR less than a second off the sub-15 barrier! Will Talbert also shaved almost 9 seconds off his PR to come in with a low-15 and a top 50 spot, and it was a big night also for Carter Castanha who is now officially a letter-holder in Cross Country with a sub-16:40 finish.
And now, we turn our attention to the next meet at Sunny Hills on the 28th. This is not a traditionally fast course, the giveaway again being in the name! But it will provide an excellent course to prepare for the Temecula Twilight coming up a week later, and no doubt despite the hills these athletes will continue to surprise us.
Thank you to everyone who volunteered at the meet last weekend and helped to make it such a big success!