CCS: Cross country runners headed to state meet
11.16.2021 – In the closest of races, the Menlo cross country team had an outstanding showing to take second place in the varsity boys Div. IV race of the CCS Championships at Crystal Springs cross country course Saturday. The young Knights girls team placed fourth overall, and senior Grace Tang will join the boys as qualifiers to the state meet.
The Knights boys collected 45 points while Scotts Valley won with 44, and Riordan finished third. The three CCS qualifying teams advance to the state meet Saturday, Nov. 27 at Woodward Park in Fresno.
“Our boys did their very best,” Menlo coach Jorge Chen said. “It’s because it was so close that it was a little harder to take. Now we are looking forward to state to get another chance to do well.”
The Menlo boys finished with a team time of 1:22.01, just off their school-record team time of 1:22.00.7 at Crystal Springs set last week at the WBAL finals.
“I’m proud of how the entire team gave their all on the course, and put in an amazing fight against one of the best teams in the state. We knew that we had a chance to upset them and as the underdogs, we were really excited going into the race. It’s really cool that we were within a thin margin of Scotts Valley, and it’s a testament to the gritty mentality of this team.”
Menlo junior Justin Pretre placed second with a personal-best of 15:29.7 among 92 runners. Freshman Landon Pretre finished in 15:31.9 while senior Nik Khuntia was 11th in 16:49.6 and junior Aiden Deffner 12th in 16:53.1. Sophomore Alex Boesch was 17th in 17:17.0 while freshman William Hauser crossed the finish line in 18:19.0 and senior Nishan Rajavasireddy in 18:59.0.
“Going into the race, Coach Jorge (Chen) wanted us to work together in pairs, and I think we were able to do that successfully. He has been really drilling into our heads that cross country is a team sport, and I think we proved that Saturday.”The girls placed fourth, just missing a spot in the state meet. Tang finished in 13th, crossing the finish line in 20:13.3 and fellow senior Pia Gallo took 19th among 67 runners with a time of 21:13.9. Freshmen Eden Chuang (21:34.1) and Audrey Tsao (21:59.4) were 26th and 30th respectively and juniors Alea Marks and Jane Hratko finished in 22:57.7 and 25:25.0, respectively.
“The girls team kept fighting all the way,” Chen said., “We only have nine runners on the whole team and coming in third at league and fourth at CCS is very impressive.”
The Knights runners wrote on their arms pre-race Menlo-LW in honor of the late alumni parent Lora Wadsworth, who fought cancer, and SLV-CE for Cash Ebright, the San Lorenzo Valley runner who died after in an accident after being swept in the ocean last month.