News and Announcements
The coaching staff will select athletes for the competitive season based on the following criteria:
1. Displays a Consistent Positive Attitude. Athletes of any ability level who are viewed by the coaching staff during the summer camp or during the prior season(s) as being negative toward their teammates, the sport, training, the coaching staff or the well-being of the program will not make the team. Such attitudes are detrimental to the team bonding process and will not be tolerated.
Prior experience with King Cross Country will NOT guarantee a position on the team.
Internet/Facebook/Twitter posts, texting or other electronic communication that is damaging to individuals or the team as a whole will not be tolerated and if discovered will be grounds for dismissal from the team
Such characteristics of negativity, should they arise during the competitive season (after selection has been made) may result in mid-season dismissal from the team.
2. Shows Consistent Quality Effort in practice. Athletes who make a habit of walking for any part of a practice after the first two weeks of the summer practice schedule will not be selected for the competitive season. Deliberately cutting a prescribed route to gain a shorter distance is viewed as showing a distinct lack of effort.
3. Demonstrates a Minimum Ability Level. Concerns of safety and liability require that the coaches be able, within reason, to monitor all runners on the team. Therefore, runners must demonstrate the ability to run at an adequate speed to ensure visibility and group contact. Much effort will be made by the coaches during the summer camp to motivate and instruct all runners to be able to maintain reasonable contact with the group. Should a runner NOT be able to consistently finish workouts without walking, within a reasonable time-gap of the group, such a runner will not be selected for the competitive season.
All athletes must meet minimum time standards to make the team.
Below is a listing of the marks for both ROOKIES and VETERANS.
STANDARDS REQUIRED FOR MAKING THE 2019 TEAMS
In order to be eligible to race, all athletes on the roster (rookies and veterans alike) must meet the time requirements for 3 miles on a time trial that will be held at the end of Summer Camp.
Standards for competition are:
9-11th grade rookie girls: 25:30
9-11th grade rookie boys: 23:30
12th grade rookie girls: 23:30
12th grade rookie boys: 20:45
Veterans of King XC must meet an individual standard by the third time trial. There will be no extensions of time for this requirement. Getting in shape prior to Summer Camp is an expectation:
Run a three mile course in their 2019 pace per mile PR + 90 seconds.
Click here to see the times returning runners must meet (coming soon)
NOTE: Improvement over your time spent in our program is an expectation. Therefore, if a KXC veteran’s 2019 pace-per-mile PR + 1:30 window pushes their qualifying mark ABOVE the rookie standard for your grade, then that veteran must the rookie standard for their grade level (9-11 or 12th grade rookie standard) by 20 seconds.
As always, coaches’ discretion in final team and competition eligibility remains in effect for extenuating circumstances.
All year the boys from King have been full of potential but lacking in execution. They finished last season 13th at CIF Finals and returned all but one from that race in 2019.
That potential had the Wolves starting the season ranked in the top 5 of CIF SS Division 1 (A division with more that 85 schools in it) but their results throughout the season saw that ranking steadily edge downward to 14th by the end of the regular season. It wasn’t that the team couldn’t run faster, it was just that they couldn’t manage to put it all together in any one race. It really was a roller coaster for the team until last weekend in the Prelims where a good race seemed to indicate the potential was becoming the reality.
The day they were hoping to have since August finally arrived on Saturday at the CIF Final. File it under “saving the best for last” or perhaps, “desperation” as not only was redemption on the line but so too was a shot at the State meet. The boys put together the race of their season, packing well, racing fast and finishing high: That 14th-ranked team finished 8th in the Finals. It was sweet.
The bitter pill however was that despite a great race, the team finished one place short of the 7th and final team berth into the State Championship, to be held next weekend in Fresno. To make it harder to swallow, just six points separated them from that final spot which was taken by Vista Murrieta.
The boys were understandably upset, leaving the arena so close yet so far away from a season-long goal. The mid-race score had King hanging on to 7th place. Mitchell Machuca was screaming in the last mile and a half (passing 14 opponents) to keep it close, but the 7th position slipped from their grasp. Machuca led a parade of PRs for King. His 15:38 bettered his best from last year. Freshman John Gathuu nearly matched his PR and 9th grade school record set last week. He was also the fastest freshman in the field of 183 finishers. Francisco Zavaleta, Austin Fortenberry and Edgar Ortega all scored with season-best marks for the course. Brian Green and Gray Mavhera were 6th and 7th for the Wolves.
The girls have had a different story this season than the boys, as they have never been ranked and got into the Finals by the skin of their teeth; they were the 25th squad of 25 to make it.
So with nothing to lose, they went for it, aiming at a top 20 finish. They were close but finished 22nd. Joan Green, in her last XC race of high school, finished with a PR at 18:13, leading the team in 32nd place overall. Jocelynn Stevenson matched her best time on the course while Evenie Fuentes ran a 30 second course best to cross in 3rd for the Wolves. Victoria Gonzalez and Jenna Bernath wrapped up the scoring group for the team while Audrey Brunken and Andreya Goodson were 6th and 7th for the group.
Both teams ran good races, and on the final race for good measure. If they’re already looking to the future, to 2020, they should be encouraged. The girls lose just two seniors from this squad and while the boys will bid farewell to three, there is a stable of fast and very talented underclassmen waiting in the wings to complement the current varsity guys that will return next year.
Whatever bitterness they may taste right now will fade, but before it does, it should fuel the hunger for better things to come. By the looks of it today, there is much good to come. Which is a sweet thing.
Written by Jenna Bernath (’20)
RIVERSIDE: After a season of ups and downs, the cross country teams entered the CIF Prelims on Friday with one goal: Advance to CIF Finals. The lofty accomplishment would validate the endurance 2019 has required of them.
Both the CIF Prelims and next week’s Finals are held at the Riverside Cross Country Course, a home “field” of sorts for the Wolves that they have raced on many times. Friday dawned chilly and fog settled nicely over the course making for prime running conditions. With the great course and cool weather, all the Wolves had to overcome was their roller coaster of a season.
The boys team has been waiting for it to be “their day” all season long. It seemed like every race only half of the boys would be having a good race and the other half would be struggling. They had all the potential they could need, they were just having a hard time showing it. However, on Friday morning, it finally happened. The CIF-SS got to witness the potential King has been hiding the entire season.
The guys raced great, surprising everyone including themselves. Brian Green (’20) said, “This season has not been what we expected, but this Friday it was amazing to see our team come together to do better than expected.”
The squad was led by freshman John Gathuu who looked strong throughout all three miles of the course. Gathuu ran a nice PR and grabbed himself a 10th place finish. Mitchell Machuca, Austin Fortenberry, Francisco Zavaleta, and Edgar Ortega all finished within 8 seconds of each other with Brian Green and Gray Mavhera bringing them home shortly after. Austin Fortenberry earned himself a season best with his performance, something very special for it being his senior season. The boys’ collective effort and close finishes enabled them to snag a third place finish in their heat beating Vista Murrieta, a highly respected opponent. (The top 8 teams advance to CIF Finals on November 23)
On the girls side, the season has been filled with ups and downs for the Wolves. Injury and illness appeared to be inescapable for the ladies. Making CIF Finals would be a great challenge for the squad, but one they were obviously up for as they placed 8th to secure their spot on the line. Just like the guys, the girls surprised themselves with their performance.
Joan Green and Jocelynn Stevenson led the squad as numbers 1 and 2 which they have all season. Joan finally got the PR she was hoping for and Jocelynn set a solid season best time. Victoria Gonzalez followed as King’s number 3 with Jenna Bernath and Andreya Goodson finishing shortly after. Freshman Andreya held her own among the highly competitive Division 1 field running her second best time on a 3-mile course. Camille Bradford, battling a cold, and Audrey Brunken rounded out the group finishing only one second apart. All the girls went to the line knowing what they wanted to accomplish and they pulled it off. Jocelynn explained, “The race on Friday was a breath of fresh air for the girls team … making it to Finals was something we were all hoping for and how we raced really showed that.”
The amount of struggles that both teams have gone through this season didn’t get in the way of them accomplishing the goals they set for themselves. They proved that CIF Prelims is not where King’s story ends no matter what their prior races seemed to be saying. Maybe the Wolves will surprise themselves again at CIF Finals next week.
Written by Jenna Bernath (’20)
Coach Brad Peters constantly reminds his athletes that team chemistry is the most important aspect of a team because it is not the PRs that get remembered, it is the memories with teammates that live on for a lifetime.
The Big VIII League Finals held at Riverside’s Andulka Park on Wednesday, brought out some impressive times for the Wolves, but it also showcased the team’s bond. From the pre-race huddles to the post-race “Wolfpack” cheer and all the great running in between, the Wolves displayed what it means to be a King High athlete.
On the JV boy’s side, the Wolves continued their pack running technique with the first 4 runners finishing within 20 seconds of each other. Those four, Jonathan Weaver, John Wangari, and Jack Slavin earned course personal records (PR) as well as number 5, Bohdin Rush, who PR’d by 9 seconds. All of these boys, including Julian Morgan who ran a fantastic race and freshman Damien Zemanek, earned themselves medals to take home; Damien snatching the last one with a 21st place finish. Adrian Flores, Luke Stokes, Ben Heick, and Matthew Gwynn also ran significant PRs running around 1 minute faster than their previous best.
The boys’ Varsity had a similar story with almost the entire squad of seven running PRs and earning patches. Mitchell Machuca led the squad and was followed by Francisco Zavaleta and breakout freshman John Gathuu. Austin Fortenberry and Edgar Ortega rounded out the squad and solidified the boys’ second place finish. Before the race, sophomore Gray Mavhera felt that the boys would either have their worst or best league meet and thankfully the boys finally had all their good days on the same day, something they had been waiting for and working together for all season.
The girls team didn’t see nearly the amount of PRs that the boys had but they displayed the same camaraderie. The girl’s JV was a race that could have been seen in a movie. Freshman Andreya Goodson led the pack with a 3rd place finish with Justine Marshall coming in shortly after. Emily Richmond, Ashlyn Richmond, and Mariah Ngo had remarkable races coming down the finishing stretch together. Emily and Mariah both took home PRs from their performances. All of these ladies earned hardware to take home as well. Andrea Guadian also had a great race looking very strong throughout the 2.9 mile course.
The Varsity girls would be the first to tell you it wasn’t their best day but they all ran together, finally getting a little racing pack that they had been working for every race this season. Jocelynn Stevenson came in first for the squad followed by Jenna Bernath and Victoria Gonzalez who ran side by side for a good chunk of the race. Evenie Fuentes and Audrey Brunken rounded out the scoring five putting forth their best efforts. Joanie Green’s asthma gave her some trouble causing her to be behind her normal position which was disappointing for the entire squad, but the friendship between the girls kept them in the race. Evenie Fuentes explained: “The rush of energy Victoria, Jenna, and I felt when we saw Joanie slow down shows just how close we all are.”
What all the King athletes saw at the Finals was what Coach Brad Peters actually means when he issues his constant reminders on team chemistry. King wasn’t the fastest team despite their amazing races and efforts but they definitely were the most closely bonded and at the end of the day that’s what counts most. No matter how fast they all ran, they all ran “today’s PR” as Camille Bradford put it and they did it together.
By most measures, the 2019 boys varsity team is a good one. Lots of experience, several seniors, talent … the parts are there.
But for whatever reason, all those parts have yet to show up together on the same day in the same race. Like an engine who has 3 or 4 of it’s 8 cylinders not running in sync, this team has struggled to find its rhythm and power.
On Saturday, while the rest of the cross country team was at the Riverside Invitational, the boys traveled to the 72nd running of the Mt.SAC Invitational. Entered in the Sweepstakes race, the fastest of the day, they were hoping the setting would bring out the best in them.
Unfortunately, the team sputtered and missed that opportunity. It wasn’t a “bad” day, but it certainly left much to be desired.
Sophomore Gray Mavhera was one who had a good day, racing a superb second half to finish well. Junior Edgar Ortega did the same, the two seemingly running with the same strategy. Austin Fortenberry, whose physical size would make a hilly course like SAC a double challenge, actually proved to be greater than the hills and ran an impressive race. Mitchell Machuca was the first King runner across the line but admitted after that he misjudged the hills and finished with gas in the tank. Brian Green was 5th for the Wolves, while Francisco Zavaleta and Malachi Cabanilla rounded out the squad at 6th and 7th respectively.
Mt.SAC is a course that can cause a runner or a team to misjudge the challenge. King’s boys – a good team – is looking to find that race in which all seven on the line race like most judged they would back at the start of the season.
With just the championship rounds left to go, there is still time to rev it up and hum along … just like they know they can.