Cross country starts the season off strong at the UCSB Gaucho Invitational


Cole Dinkler

The dragons huddle together to yell their traditional pre-race chant.

Cole Dinkler, Reporter

On Sept. 3, 2022, Foothill Technology High School’s (Foothill Tech) first cross country meet officially took off at the stunning UCSB cross country course. The Gaucho Invitational is a staple of Foothill Tech’s cross country season, and this year was the first time in three years that they have been able to compete at this legendary meet.

Our top finisher in the boys’ three-mile, Jonah Billings ‘23 ran a time of 15:46 and finished fifth overall out of the 140 competitors, followed by Braeden Elliot ‘24 coming in at 17:14 and Kai Bensen ‘23 right behind with a time of 17:48.

The girls came in strong with Kiersten Falat ‘23 finishing with a time of 21:59, Beatrice Barnes ‘24 only 10 seconds behind at 22:09, and the newest member of the girls 3-mile race Lily Jones ‘25 came in with a 23:09. However, the highlight for the girls team was Keera Wallace ‘26 winning the girls 1.43 mile race in a staggering 9:15.

Both sides had an amazing day for their debut meet, and out of four different races, five dragons received medals for finishing top 30 or better in their race. Head coach Jason Dinkler was very proud of the team for their collective effort to make it an amazing season, stating, “The opening meet gave us lots of opportunities to learn how to race, and lots of nice performances from new and veteran athletes.”

What do you think?