Foothill freshman boys cross country runners take first place in county championships

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Credit: Josh Ren/The Foothill Dragon Press

Rugile Pekinas

The freshman boys’ cross country runners took first place out of 14 teams in the Ventura County Cross Country Championships at Lake Casitas on Friday.

Freshmen Ryan Bova, Trey Casswell, and Chris Kuchta finished in 11th, 12th and 13th place out of the 148 participants in the race. Their individual times were 18 minutes and six seconds, 18 minutes and 10 seconds, and 18 minutes and 13 seconds respectively, leading Foothill to a first place position and an average time of 18:15.4 and a total of 1:31:17.66.

Sophomore Jonah Bufford took 20th place out of 149 runners in the sophomore boys’ three mile race, with a final time of 18 minutes, five seconds. Foothill sophomore boys racers took 10th place overall out of 14 teams, averaging 19 minutes and tens seconds each, and with a total combined time of one hour, 35 minutes, and 49 seconds.

In the boys’ junior varsity race, junior Andrew Neville was the first Foothill runner to finish, taking 20th place out of 214 runner with a time of 17 minutes and 42 seconds. With an average of 19 minutes and four seconds and a total time of one hour, 35 minutes, and 21 seconds, Foothill took 11th place overall out of the 17 teams that ran the junior varsity race.

Foothill’s boys’ varsity runners took eighth place overall out of 21 teams, totaling one hour, 23 minutes, and 27 seconds and averaging 16 minutes and 42 seconds each to complete the three mile course. Junior Moses Bojorquez was the first Foothill runner across the line, taking 11th place out of 142 runners. Bojorquez had a final time of 15 minutes and 53 seconds.

With a time of 21 minutes and 57 seconds, freshman Jacqueline Fregoso took 34th place out of 151 runners in the girls’ frosh/soph race. Foothill finished with a total time of one hour, 56 minutes, and eight seconds and an average of 23 minutes and 13 seconds, taking 11th place overall out of the 19 schools.

In the girls’ junior varsity race, junior Bryce Kulzer was the first Foothill runner to finish. With a time of 23 minutes and 47 seconds, Kulzer came in 58th place out of the 249 runners. Foothill took 15th place out 19 teams with an average time of 26 minutes and 19 seconds and a total of two hours, 11 minutes, and 37 seconds.

Sophomore Gabby Sones was the first Foothill runner to cross the finish line for the girls’ varsity race, coming in 32nd place out of the 141 runners. Sones’ time was 19 minutes and 49 seconds. With an average of 20 minutes and 35 seconds and a total of one hour, 42 minutes, and 56 seconds, Foothill took 11th place out of the 21 competing teams.

For freshman Maize Anders, Foothill’s improvement over the season and performance in the championships are a source of pride.

“I think it’s phenomenal how well Foothill did for having first year sports… and how [well] we did against bigger schools,” said Anders. “Everybody worked together. They stepped up to the talent [of the other teams at the meet.]”

Coach Ken Reeves also was proud of Foothill’s strong showing.

“Dragons took home plaques in 5 of the 7 divisions in their first ever year of cross country. [That] may not be unusual from our perspective, but think the rest of the county was a little shocked when the boys’ freshman team won the overall county title,” said Reeves. “[I] think that shows we have a very bright future.”

Anders believed the team enjoyed “the big meet atmosphere, especially since it was Halloween,” but realizes preparation is needed for the cross country team’s final league meet next week.

“We definitely need to work hard. Everybody needs to work hard and stay healthy for that meet in order for us to move on,” said Anders.

Reeves believes the team “just need[s] to get a little better” to reach their goals, and is excited about how well the county championships went for Foothill overall.

“[It was a] perfect day for running… [the] vast majority competed very well and took risk[s],” said Reeves. “People just keep getting a little better each week.”

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