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XC STATE CIF

Updated: Feb 14, 2020

By Katherine Taylor


After six months of intense training, cross country post-season races finally arrived. As the rest of the school hurried into a relaxing Thanksgiving break excited to eat as much turkey and stuffing as they could, the Varsity Cross Country teams prepared for CIF. On the first day of break, the fastest athletes in San Diego met at Morley Field for the first race of the week. The weather was perfect for a distance race, partly overcast and chilly. Rain earlier in the week had dried and hardened the soft dirt, making the course slightly easier than usual. 


The girls raced first, so the course was well groomed and ready for racers. The start was much slower than usual, allowing many of us Pointers to make our way to the front of the pack. Once we broke away from any officials or spectators, other racers began to push and shove to break through to the front, but we held our places. Closely following the mile mark was the dreaded CIF hill, a 300 meter, painfully long stretch with many twists and turns. After that, it was all downhill from there (mentally and almost literally). It was time for us to make our moves. Each place counted and everyone needed to pick off as many other competitors as possible to better our team score. Sophie Compton, sophomore, and I finished in the top ten, giving us a spot at State. The rest of the team finished not far behind, but not close enough to qualify as a team. 

The boys raced shortly after, the clouds cleared and the sun was beginning to heat up the course. The first mile did not go as expected, as many of the Pointers were not in the position they hoped for. But no one cares who wins mile one. Both Jake Richardson, junior, and Brett Cox, senior, climbed up to and passed their anticipated placing. Brett raced his best and final cross country race of his high school career. Freshman Manny Correia closed the top five scoring Pointers, crushing his personal record by more than three minutes. Jake, though, was the only boy to qualify for State by placing third. Point Loma Cross Country races in Division II (based on student body size), the most difficult division in San Diego Section because of the other schools of similar sizes, like La Costa Canyon and Mt. Carmel, and has fewer teams that can qualify for State. 


For Sophie, Jake, and me, the rest of the break held daily runs and workouts.We did not stop for rain or Thanksgiving. On Friday morning, we left San Diego at five to drive to Clovis, CA. Thankfully, there were no fires this time, so we reached the course around eleven. Jordyn Duby, junior, and Brett came with us to cheer and support. After the run, we still had six hours to kill before dinner, so we found a mall and did some Black Friday shopping. For dinner, of course, we carbo-loaded with a huge pasta dinner and later retired to our hotel to get some much needed rest before the big race. 


The schedule was the same as CIF, so we had the first race again. Somehow, it was the best weather of the day at 8:30 A.M. – 41° with a windchill of 37°. We expected the weather to be a factor because we’re used to cold being 55°, but once we warmed up, the temperature seemed perfect. We wore our sweats until the last possible moment, but still wore sleeves to protect our arms against the wind. When the gun cracked, we were somehow almost last. Sophie and I had never seen a start so fast, but we quickly weaved through to the top half by the first mile. Several girls fell because everyone ran so close together, never really spreading out. We continued to move up throughout the rest of the race, I finished 73rd at 18:59 and Sophie finished 80th at 19:01, both of us knocking ten seconds off our previous course record. 

It began to get colder after our race as the rain moved in. Jake raced at 9:30 A.M. as the solo boy from Point Loma. His competitors were some of the best in the country, the first place racer defended his fastest 5k time in the nation. However, Jake was able to stay in the top quarter for the entirety of the race. 


The 2019 Cross Country season has come to an end with a very successful year for Point Loma, but the running isn’t over yet! Some athletes will be competing in Indoor Track outside of school in the winter and almost everyone will be back for Track in the spring. Thank you to all our coaches and supporters! Go Pointers!

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