Playoff Recap: Cross Country defends league titles at TCAA Cross Country final

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Playoff Recap: Cross Country defends league titles at TCAA Cross Country final

Credit: Grace Carey / The Foothill Dragon Press

Credit: Grace Carey / The Foothill Dragon Press

Credit: Grace Carey / The Foothill Dragon Press

Credit: Grace Carey / The Foothill Dragon Press

Aniah McKenzie

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Cross Country defended their league titles this week at the TCAA Cross Country tournament, despite the intense heat. The team returned victorious with a girl’s varsity score of 33 and time 1:40:10.20, while the boy’s varsity had a score of 23 and a time of 1:23:49.78.

The first Foothill runner to come in for varsity girls’ was Blythe Blakeman ‘19, with a time of 19:33.89 coming in third overall.

The first Foothill varsity boys’ runner to come in was Jared Rodriguez ‘17 who came in first overall, with a time of 15:44.71.

Brieanna Tafoya ‘17, who placed eighth last week, felt the team overall competed well.

“Team-wise I believe that we did extremely well in dealing and racing in the heat especially for being a beach school,” Tafoya said.

The only thing Tafoya felt was a hindrance to the team’s performance was the heat, which was in the nineties where they were competing.

“One thing that I would have wanted to change was the weather since it was not the most ideal racing conditions, because it was so warm and dry,” Tafoya said.

Despite the heat, the coaches preparation of teams before and after competing allowed for a great race.

“Our coaches have done an excellent job in preparing us to race in these weather conditions. [They] did a great job in the precautions they took in making sure all the runners were okay before and after their races,” she said.

Josh Ramirez ‘17 agreed with Tafoya that the heat was the only problem they were faced with while competing.

“It was a warmer day than usual and the conditions were dry, but the team was well trained and stronger than the competition,” Ramirez said.

On his own, varsity boy’s runner Chris Kuchta, came in third overall with a time of 16:49.11.

Also individually, Ramirez felt he did a great job in his race and didn’t have a problem adjusting to be comfortable with the heat because of his training.

“I felt I raced my best on the course that I could do. I followed my race plan and adapted it to what was happening in the race,” he said.

Ramirez competed for the junior varsity (JV) team and came in third with a time of 17:36.62, along with Trey Casswell ‘18 and Jacob Villasenor ‘18, who came in first and second with times of 17:05.21 and 17:32.68 respectively.

Overall, the team’s goal was to return to Foothill with their league title status intact and as CIF qualifiers, and Tafoya felt that was exactly what they did.

“The main goal of the meet was to work together as a pack to qualify for CIF and utilize all of the endless hours of training and dedication that we have put into the season to run personal bests and maintain our title from last year as league champions in all four of our subdivision,” Tafoya said.

Ramirez will be attending CIF as an alternate and feels the team will be able to race again at State Finals.

“I think our team will do very well. We are only getting stronger and faster, and if all goes as planned, we are going to race at the State meet for the 3rd year in a row,” Ramirez said.

Along with him, Tafoya believes the team met most if not all of their goals, and is excited to see how the team does at CIF.

“As a collective whole I believe that we all put out our best efforts and did a great job at achieving two, if not, all three of these goals, and I can’t wait to see how the team does at CIF.”

What do you think?