In this sport, there are often courses we love, and courses we….don’t! Cool Breeze was a favorite for those seeking a PR, or at least until this year! Laguna Hills – by it’s very name – falls into the latter category. And yet, despite the tough slopes, some of our athletes shone through the crowds last weekend with amazing performances, PR’ing at this meet and proving that their best is very much yet to come!
One of the greatest pleasures of supporting the team is watching the athletes go beyond what they even expect of themselves. And so, it is a joy to be able to give shout outs to the following athletes who showed they've got what it takes to earn Warrior stripes with amazing personal runs last weekend on a course few people manage to set records on. Congratulations on your fantastic runs Faith Lee, Marianna Tabb, Ryan Albright, Ryan DeHass, Matthew Garcia, Ethan Huang, Blake Simon, Matthew Huang, Alimur Isakov, and David Lee! To PR on any course is a big achievement. To PR on a hilly course like Laguna Hills takes immense effort and not a small amount of courage!
And now we are gearing up for the Meet of the Season this weekend – our very own Woodbridge Invitational! It was heartwarming to see the team out for a final practice session this week, running right past Stone Creek elementary school at pick up time, where the kids stood in awe and cheered them on and even the crossing guard called out “GO WARRIORS!” By waving to the little ones and calling out to them to join Cross Country when they get to high school as they thundered past, our athletes were a credit to themselves and to the club, and a pretty impressive sight, truth be told!
The Woodbridge Invitational, hosted at SilverLakes Sports Complex, draws some of the top teams and individuals, State-wide and nationally, and is a fast, flat course, perfect for the PRs we all want to see!
ONES TO WATCH
Given the nature of this course, frankly the One’s to Watch are ALL of them! But early statistics for the season are showing certain stand out athletes making steady improvements week on week. Among the freshman girls, Ashley and Ingrid continue to battle for top spot, but Faith and Marianna are showing steady improvement and Seina ran a great race at Laguna Hills. For the boys, future Varsity star Tanner Castanha will be looking to improve on his already impressive sub-17 PR. Ethan Huang will be aiming for that elusive sub-20 and Stefan Curioso, Ryan Duncan and Garrick Lu will be looking to continue their massive gains between the Time Trials and the Cool Breeze meets.
Among the Sophomores, Sarah Klem will be looking to lead the pack with a high finish. Mia Washida has a score to settle on this course after last year’s season plagued by injury, and is aiming for a strong sub-19 this weekend. Lauren Tsai is still battling injury and will be sitting this one out, with everyone willing her to get well and back into the action as soon as she can. Alison Ho will hopefully gain her letter this weekend, coming so close to that sub-20 cut off at the Cool Breeze. Sophomore boys will be led by Bryce Shaver, coming very close now to a sub-17 finish. Hot on his heels, team mate Youssef El Hallak will also have his eye on that sub-17 time. Albert has shown especially significant gains between last season and this one, and Matthew Huang will also be looking to continue his steady improvement, as will Aska Uchida who managed an impressive 21:00 flat in this seasons Time Trials, and Yoshihiro Yamamoto, who shaved an incredible 5 minutes plus off his Time Trial from last year to this. Best of luck to all the boys!
Among the Junior and Senior girls, Sierra Shaver will be going head to head on the Varsity team with her stunning return to form this season, and Maddie Zavala will hopefully be feeling better and back on form again with her eyes fixed on a sub-19 PR. Nina will be aiming for another strong low-22s finish, and Julianna Perez will have her sights set on a good sub-21 finish.
For the boys, Ryan Welton and Will Talbert are the ones to watch, with Ryan coming so close now to that sub-15 finish at Cool Breeze, and Will gunning for a new low 15s PR. Joseph and Russell are likely to produce an exciting finish and both Carters will be headed towards a goal of low-16s.
To ALL the athletes – best of luck for tomorrow! We will all be there cheering you on. Make us proud, Warriors!
Freshman parents! Thank you so much for volunteering. Be prepared to stay at the track until past midnight! This is going to be a long day, but a lot of fun is guaranteed! Anyone who has not yet signed up to volunteer, but would like to help out, please show up to the track from 1:30 if you can, or from 3:00pm. There is ALWAYS something that needs doing and all help is appreciated! There will be a volunteer check in tent, and from there you can be assigned to a part of the course where you are needed.
See you all tomorrow! Don't forget to wear red for the team!