King Punches It's Way Through League Finals and Into CIF
The BIG VIII returned to Andulka Park, the location of the first league race to race for improvement and growth drawn from the season. It was also the final moment for some to show their final steps of the 2021 season. King went into the race with full confidence and showed that all the hard work paid off in this 2.9 course.
In the girls JV, King was led by Kaylee Magno and Gardemia Sandoval as they took aggressive starts and both placed in the top 10 with Magno placing in the top 5! Patricia Dacasin finished strong this season with her 13th place finish, proving her spot in the CIF team is well earned. Audiana Salgado and Makayla Berlagna fought through the entire race and both placed in the top 21, earning a medal in the process. Ashlyn Richmond, dealing with injuries, managed to finish the season with her head up and running a solid time and with a time of 23:11. Marikaya Williams and Savanna Martin both ran under 24 minutes to finish their season on a high and have shown real promise this season. Mia Castaneda and Isabelle Graham both ran great races and returned to their best as they both sped through the finish line under 25 minutes! The freshmen, Evie Ruvalcaba, Hannah Tan, and Caitlyn Brody all fought through tough races and demonstrated a bright future to come from these ladies in our future seasons. Maria Mendez and Isabella Anthony both had strong finishes with Mendez running a 27:57 and Anthony running a 35:18. The Girls JV placed 3rd in the league and closed the gap on the top 2 teams and showed that the team that grew the most this season was King!
After the JV Girls the Boys JV went off with Brayden Lunetta leading the line and running an all time PR of 16:16 making him go under 17 if it had been a 3 mile course! Adrian Flores and Luke Stokes destroyed the course with both reaching new personal bests by going under 17 minutes by over 20 seconds for the first time! Seth Robinson ran a lifetime best of 17:39 to snatch the last medal and place in the top 21. Following was a very competitive group of boys that all placed within 23 seconds of each other and will look forward to a intra-squad competition for the years to come with Joseph Or, Tawheedullah Shirzad, Markos Pineda, John Gathuu and Tim Gill all being in that group. Joseph Mayberry and Adrian Pulido both ran strong races with both almost going under 20 minutes for the first time. Evan Chen and Aidan Luna both ran consistent races in their league finals with both looking to come back next year stronger as they enjoyed their cross country season this year. The JV Boys placed 3rd with a key figure missing showing that they really took it to the opposing teams and closed the gap like the girls.
The Varsity Girls took out flying. Audrey Brunken and Andrea Guadian took a tactical approach to the race as they both started off behind the lead group before approaching the hill and stormed up and down it to have a very strong second half. They finished 2nd and 3rd overall! Andreya Goodson shined as she placed herself in the middle of the Roosevelt girls and picked the off one by one and placed an impressive 14th place. Emely Ruiz and Sarah Pietrantonio both ran gritty races as they both took the last two spots to medal and place in this year All League teams!
Newcomer, Ava Harper ran her first varsity race in one of the biggest stages of the season and flourished in the moment as she ran an exceptional 21:04! Leah Pendleton finished off the girls varsity with another top performance as she crossed the line with eyes looking to her next challenge to come. The Girls Varsity placed 3rd with only a 10 point gap from second place making this race the closest they have been this year to the two state ranked teams!
The last race of the day came to the varsity boys where Jack Slavin, Matthew Gwynn and David Bedoya scorched the course and all went under 15:45 and blew the lid off the race. Gray Mavhera, Damien Zemanek, and Julian Morgan held their own with all going under 16:10! Nathan Curtner joined the struggle bus this week but keeps his head up as CIF looms and will seek to become a crucial part of the time when the time comes. The King Boys placed 2nd but kept their sights on Santiago as they may have one last go at the Sharks in a winner takes all race at the CIF Championships. The season ended on a high as coach Sandoval said his final speeches for the season and was a little teary eye as the season ended.
But not just yet as Both of the varsity teams qualified for the CIF Prelims