Tartan Cross Country Matches Up Against Top-Flight Competition at OC Championships
The Tartans broke up their usual varsity squads at the Orange Country Championships in an effort to put the finishing touches on their Academy League Championships preparation. Although only one group fielded a scoring team of five, the move proved extremely productive as some of the younger athletes gained valuable race experience at the front of the pack.
Leading the way on Friday afternoon in Irvine Park was Robbie Graham and his sophomore teammates. Graham made a late race surge at the 2.5-mile mark to break from a strong pack, taking second and finishing just 10 seconds behind the leader. Taking note of the move, Matt Colglazier also shifted gears and finished just 3 seconds behind Graham in 3rd place. Mason Harline, Will Reinkensmeyer, and Grant Kinsey rounded out the scoring spots to combine for 91 points and second place. The Tartans were 65 points ahead of 3rd place Servite and gave national power Brea Olinda a run for their money in the second half of the race.
In the Small School Varsity Championship, Nic Gitter and Charlie Smith solidified their spots among the county elite with top 10 finishes. Gitter was 5th in 15:53 and Smith was 9th in 16:05. Their impressive times resulted in the Tartans posting a cumulative team time that was just under 3 minutes faster than last year.
Charlotte Jones’ rise to the top of the leaderboard continued on Friday with a 3rd place finish in the freshman girls race. Her 20:10 time closed the gap to team leader Daisy Sellas (20:06) and dual sport standout Julia Martin (20:02). The trio will look to combine as a formidable pack up front at the Academy League Championships on October 27 on the same race course.