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Cross Country Fall Recap

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After winning the Condor League’s girls team and individual categories and sending a number of athletes to CIF last year, the Cross Country team set the bar high. But, as this season begins, senior Clay Rodgers explained that this year is no different:“I’d say we have a ridiculously strong girls team while the guys are strong but still warming up.”

The first meet of the season, the Ojai Invitational at Lake Casitas, was a large race and not part of the Condor League — with over 300 male and 200 female runners participating in the event. According to Coach David Silverander, “It was the first meeting

of the season, so it was an introduction or a re-introduction to racing for everyone.The level of competition there is quite high because there are a lot of larger schools, so it’s great for our small team to see what that end of the sport looks like.”

Next was the Cate meet, where the Laguna team finished second behind Cate. Silverander described how “the Cate meet was our first chance to see our other Condor League competitors in action, and it also provided another convenient opportunity to get in an extra race beyond just league competition. Everyone ran great, particularly the ladies who set the bar high for the rest of the season (and have continued to deliver).”

Sophomore Julia Guglielmo, who is new to the team, placed ninth and described the meet as “a huge move for me in the season because I improved so much.”

Sophomore Pisci Abrego, who came in fourth, agreed, saying that “the Cate meet was the most important so far because we had a little more competition than we currently have in the Condor league.”

The first Condor League meet took place at Dunn, where the girls’ team took over the podium — Abrego placed first, senior Aura Carlson second, freshman Daisy Finefrock third and Guglielmo fourth. Unfortunately, the girls were not able to win the team segment of that race, due to their being too small of a team.

The boys placed fifth out of six teams at this meet, with Rodg- ers placing at 12th, sophomore Ian Brown at 21st, junior Sherlock Jian at 34th, freshman Lucas Chen at 63rd, freshman Peter Smith at 48th and sophomore Kai Nakamura at 13th.

As the team progresses through the Condor League season with high chances of qualifying for CIF and winning team and individual titles, senior Isabelle Davenport explains that “this season, because it’s my last one, I look forward to having fun with all of my friends and my beloved coaches… And because it’s the last year I really feel the weight of each meet being the last [time] that I will ever run it.”

No matter how far the team goes this year, Guglielmo explained that although “Cross country is the hardest sport [she has] ever competed in because it’s all a mental game…. in the end, it’s so rewarding because you feel like you have accomplished so much.”

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