Knights on course on record-breaking day at Clovis
10.6.2023 – The Menlo School cross country runners had a strong showing at the Clovis Invitational - heat, stacked field and all - and junior Landon Pretre shattered a Central Coast Section course record Saturday.The Menlo School boys’ cross country finished seventh among 39 teams in the Clovis Invitational Small Schools Division 5K. Pretre took gold in 14:52.0, and was the lone runner in four divisions - small, medium, large and extra large-size schools - to break the 15-minute mark. Pretre was sixth overall, including the Championship Division. He broke the mark set by Jason Balkman, who ran 14:58 in 1994 at the FootLocker West Regional.
Junior Will Hauser was sixth in 15:47.7 while sophomore Jonah Block crossed the finish in 17:17.8, freshman Tristan Chen 17:19.5 and senior Max Talwar 17:56.8 to round out the scoring.
Veronica Taira was the Knights’ first finisher in 20:57.4, freshman Marissa Louie came in with a time of 22:39.4 and Audrey Tsao in 24:08.1.
For a mile, Pretre was running solo after he broke away on the hill after two miles and going head to head with second-place finisher Ian Turk
“On that hill, I made a move, took the lead and didn’t look back. That’s when I gapped him and then I just kind of built on that lead going on the downhill that was a mile to go. So with a mile to go, I just kind of powered home. “I really didn’t think (a CCS record) would be anywhere in the cards,” Pretre said. “I’m a bit in disbelief as this is a course everyone runs all the time. It’s definitely one of the biggest moments so far in my running.”
Perhaps even more unexpected is that Pretre says he’s not a morning runner - favors the Friday Night Lights feel of Woodbridge. The Knights had the benefits of a morning start - perfect on a day that would eventually be well into the 90s.
“We had a lot of good preparation from our coaches,” Pretre said. “Our entire team was going to sleep early, waking early for early-morning runs. Our coaches gave us a really good game plan going into it. We practiced everything for that course. … It was pretty fun.”