Jackson Adelman Leads Tartans at CIF State Cross Country Championships
Both Tartan cross country teams advanced to the CIF California State Championships for the fourth consecutive year. The race experience they accumulated resulted in another stellar showing to end the 2019 season.
Jackson Adelman finished as the runner-up in 2018 and was the pre-race favorite after winning his second CIF Southern Section title last weekend in Riverside. But the pressure did not phase the humble junior, and Adelman darted right to the front from the start. After leading a large pack through the mile at 4:53, Adelman launched a series of calculated moves in the back half of the course. At the two-mile mark, he opened a small gap on the field and fought back several chase attempts to cross the line in a winning time of 15:39. Adelman is now second all-time in school history on the famed Woodward Park course, trailing only legendary St. Margaret's distance runner Billy Gaudreau who ran 15:28 in 2012.
The boys team keyed off their front running teammate and crossed the mile mark in second place. The lead would change hands, but the Tartans could not close a 17 point gap to eventual race winner Viewpoint. Kevin Shen was the second runner across the line for the Tartans and posted the fastest time ever run by a St. Margaret's freshman on the course of 16:26.
Freshman Liesel Blau was fearless in her quest to take down two of the top runners in the nation. Race winner Harper McClain broke from the field early, but Blau would not let two-time CIF Champion Mia Barnett get away. The pair battled down the final 600-meter stretch; trading leads several times. Blau would eventually place third and was awarded All-State honors as a result.
"Mia Barnett is a highly respected runner that has posted a 4:46 mile on the track. But that does not phase Liesel. She will go after anybody, and she has the talent to do so," said head coach Patrick Bendzick. "Jackson and Liesel might be two of the most competitive athletes I have ever seen. It's such an honor to work with them, and the entire team appreciates how their efforts make us all better. I couldn't be more proud of this team."
The girls team was riding the momentum of their second consecutive CIF Southern Section title but knew they would have their hands full with several groups from Northern California. Shea Hueston, Madye Arundale and Claire Mullen combined to form a productive trio in the front quarter of the field. Their proximity resulted in a third-place team finish when combined with Blau's front running and the nine places Charlotte Jones picked up in the final 1000 meters.