TEAMS PASS THE BIG 8 TEST
In the first running of the Big 8 cross country season, the Wolves … well you could say they survived. On the boys’ level they were walloped by Roosevelt, on the girls side, they struggled home with a third-place finish.
It wasn’t King’s best day that day some three weeks ago.
But adversity is a test all must pass, and by the looks of things yesterday in the second running of the Big 8 season, King is passing that exam.
The kids ran great.
On the girls side, behind them was the first go where two of their seven didn’t finish the race, leaving the minimum of five finishers. Under cloudy skies the girls raced with great poise.* Joan Green and Jocelynn Stevenson* were 2-3 for most of the race and finished there as well. But it may have been the performance of Evenie Fuentes that turned the story for King.
Held up through much of the season due to injuries, there was some question if her battered legs would let her get to the starting line on Wednesday.
But race she did and she pulled off an inspired performance.
“Going into the race I was more excited than nervous”* Fuentes* said. “Knowing that I came really close to not racing and just the energy of the team carried me through.”
It goes both ways and her energy no doubt carried her teammates as well. Audrey Brunken, Camille Bradford and Jenna Bernath formed a tight pack and finished 17, 18 and 19. Freshman Andreya Goodson wasn’t far behind them as King’s #7.
The girls finished second to Santiago, a marked improvement from round one of the league season.
The boys were second the first time and second again to Roosevelt this time, but the manner in which they raced was the best part.
Francisco Zavaleta and Austin Fortenberry established themselves in the lead pack right from the start and held on for top 5 finishes.
“Before the race I knew I had to step up” said Fortenberry. “I told myself I needed to think of the team, so when Francisco came by me on the first mile, I latched onto him and tried to push him and myself.”
That mental battle was recognizable for all before the start. Zavaleta noted that “a lot of the elements in the meet were different, the course (first time on it for King since 2015) and even the start of the race was different.” A medical emergency for a league runner pushed back the start times and threw off the warm up of the varsity runners.
“Oh,” he added, “and some of us were taking a difficult test in the morning, but everyone was able to adapt and overcome in a professional manner.”
Indeed they did. Edgar Ortega shored up the middle of the scoring pack for an ailing Mitch Machuca who was less than 24 hours removed from the stomach flu. Scoring for the Wolves was freshman* John Gathuu. Brian Green and Gray Mavhera* were 6th and 7th man for King in a team effort that brought them within 5 points of the victory.
The JV races were mixed. The boys dominated with a clean sweep of the top five places. Malachi Cabanilla led the way, followed by *Julian Morgan, Bohdin Rush, Jonathan Weaver and Damien Zemanek. *
The girls JV was third overall and led by* Jane Gathuu,* but the return of* Kela Mavhera* was a pleasant development. Kela has been battling injuries for three seasons and this was her first race of 2019. Avalon Provance also had a solid race.
Many took the normal PSAT or SAT tests in the morning. We hope they did well. They took the Big 8 test in the afternoon and earned high marks.
Good for them.