The cross country team — a known powerhouse program at Foothill — has showed a stellar performance yet again in this year’s Tri-County Athletic Association (TCAA) League Finals on Thursday, Nov. 2. Coach Ken Reeves deemed the achievement “crazy good.” All teams, boys, girls, varsity and junior varsity (JV) alike, managed to earn a first place slot, propelling them into a hopeful CIF prelims next week.
Note on Cross Country Scoring: A team’s score is calculated by adding the points earned by their first five runners to finish. Those runners earn points based on their overall place in the race, first place earning one point, second earning two points, etc. The team with the lowest total score wins.
To kick it off, Boys JV took first through seventh place, with Jason Messner ‘18 leading the way (16:56.13). He ran a lifetime best to help earn his team a perfect 15 points. His race helped push him over the edge for the title of JV League Champion as an individual.
He was followed by Jakob Villasenor ‘18 (17:09.61), Jake Turville ‘18 (17:11.52), Nathaniel Russell ‘18 (17:18.28), Grayson McCoy ‘18 (17:23.43) and Finn Blackler ‘21 (17:26.94). Daniel Guzman, Paul Marcoux and Kekoa Akuna ‘18 all earned a Reeves stamp of approval for their “great races.”
There were plenty of Dragons who ran well, considering that 18 of the first 25 finishers wore Foothill’s name on their jerseys.
In the girls’ varsity realm, Blythe Blakeman ‘19 finished first for Foothill and second place overall (18:45.80). She was beat out only by Malibu’s Claudia Lane ‘18, who broke the girls’ varsity record at last year’s Mt. San Antonio College (Mt. Sac) invitational by 11 seconds.
Olivia Burton ‘18 (18:54.86), Kennedy Gomez ‘18 (18:56.58) and Lauren Kearney ‘18 (19:03.88), all of whom earned TCAA First Team all-league honors, trailed closely behind. Blakeman finished with a First Team all-league title as well.
Hana Vrablik ‘18 (20:04.26) and Elizabeth Egbert ‘18 (20:07.62) finished 11th and 12th, respectively, and earned TCAA Second Team all-league honors.
As a whole, the girls’ varsity team took first place with a combined score of 25.
For boys’ varsity, Chris Kuchta ‘18 finished first (15:53.03) and came home with titles galore. In addition to the team league title, he was the individual league champion, the league most valuable player (MVP) and part of the First Team all-league.
Henry Pick ‘19 finished third (16:12.01), Alec Llamas ‘18 sixth (16:28.39) and Clayton Brossia ‘18 seventh (16:35.52). They are all members of the all-league First Team. Ryan Bova ‘18, who finished eighth (16:36.03) and Trey Casswell ‘18, who finished 11th (16:48.61), both became members of the Second Team.
With 26 total points, the boys varsity team, too, finished in first place.
Coming off of two wins, Gretchen Scherrei ‘20 led the girls’ JV team to victory, becoming the JV league champion and setting the JV record time for the course with 20:08.28. Her teammates filed in behind her to take the first eight places.
Hannah Dearman ‘21 was second (20:20.91), Mikayla Erlenborn ‘20 third (20:22.78), Addison Munroe ‘20 fourth (20:23.88), Carly Leandro ‘20 fifth (20:59.50), Wessal Esber ‘18 sixth (21:07.69), Natalie Ortiz ‘20 seventh (21:45.83) and Brooke Secreto ‘21 eighth (21 flat).
The team took fourteen of the first twenty places, and scored a perfect 15 points combined.
Overall, Reeves thinks “the meet was a huge confidence booster for the students finishing off the season” and that “as for the CIF bound athletes, it let them know they are right on target to compete with the elite in Southern Section and beyond.”
Editor’s Note: A previous version of this article reported incorrect times for Jakob Villasenor, Jake Turville, Nathaniel Russell, Grayson McCoy and Finn Blackler. The articled was corrected at 11:11 p.m. on November 4, 2017.