Solid Efforts Lead to CIF-SS Finals for Tartan Cross Country Programs
For the second consecutive year, both cross county programs advanced to the CIF Finals following stellar performances at the CIF Prelims. The Tartans entered the day with the very specific plan of running just hard enough to qualify for the finals, with the hope of leaving enough in the tank for an all-out effort the following week.
The boy's team opened the afternoon session at the Riverside Cross Country Course by placing all five scoring runners in the top 15 of their heat. The pack running style amounted to a minuscule 21-second gap between the runners and 42 total points. Their team time of 1:22:01 was 2:22 faster than their time from 2015 and the second fastest Division 5 time of the day. Although Charlie Smith and Nic Gitter assumed their usual positions at the front of the Tartan pack, it was Robbie Graham that had the race of the day. The sophomore finished 9th in the contest and shaved nearly a minute of his time on this course in 2015.
The girl's team posted the surprise performance of the meet by winning their heat by a solid 16 point margin. The trio of Julia Martin, Charlotte Jones and Audrey Larson led a mid-race charge into the top 10 after overcoming a slow start. Freshman Shea Hueston secured the win for the Tartans with a solid performance as the team’s fifth runner and helped the crew knock off 3:12 from their 2015 team time. Together they will enter the CIF Championships as the No. 2 seed with a team time that is nearly 4 minutes faster than league rival and CIF No. 4 ranked Sage Hill School.
The CIF Finals will take place at the Riverside Cross Country Course on November 19 with the boys taking to the line at 8:05 a.m. and the girls at 8:45 a.m. The top seven teams qualify for the State Championships on November 26 in Fresno.