St. Margaret's Cross Country Continues Climb Towards Excellence

The Tartan cross country program finds itself in familiar territory two weeks into the competitive season. Both teams are atop the CIF Southern Section rankings, and the young talent pipeline created by the St. Margaret's Middle School program continues to provide depth to the roster. 
 
"Opening at the Cool Breeze Invitational is a fun and exciting race at night that provides a glimpse into the potential of the team. Coming back the next weekend to the challenging course at the Laguna Hills Invitational allows us to see just how gritty the team can be," said head coach Patrick Bendzick. "Every championship caliber team needs both, and it appears we are in a good spot at this time of year."
 
In the grade-based format at Laguna Hills, the team collected three individual division wins, with Joyce Li (freshman girls), Everett Capelle (junior boys), and Kevin Shen (senior boys) all breaking away from their respective fields at the 2-mile mark to earn victories. In addition, they inspired several others to personal best times on the notoriously hilly course and were supported by seven teammates who also finished in the top 10 of their races. 
 
"We don't spend much time worrying about who we are racing in the first few meets of the year. Instead, the emphasis is always on racecourse execution and developing our young athletes," said Bendzick. "It's always a wonderful outcome when they execute a race plan at such a high level that they end up winning. I am very proud of their efforts and impressed with how far they have come over the summer."
 
Next up for the Tartans is the Woodbridge Invitational on Thursday, Sept. 15, at the Great Park in Irvine. This race will feature some of the best teams in the state and several from across the country that travel to California for this very fast course.
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An independent preschool through grade 12 college-preparatory day school in Orange County, California
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St. Margaret’s Episcopal School
31641 La Novia Avenue
San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675
949.661.0108
 
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