Cross country has successful showing at first league meet of the season


Olivia Mowad

With the bang of the starting gun, the varsity boys sprint to gain the lead in the race.

Nisha Reddy, Reporter

On the brisk, sunny afternoon of Sept. 23, the Foothill Technology High School (Foothill Tech) cross country team took on their first league meet at their home course at Camino Real Park. The competition ended in triumph for the Dragons, with the boys team taking first place and the girls finishing in second. The meet also included Thacher School, Cate School, Dunn School, Laguna Blanca School, La Reina School and St. Bonaventure High School.

Racing on their home turf seemed to be an advantage for Foothill Tech’s first league competition. Through a combination of experience and effort, both teams finished with high placing, much of which was expected. 

On the boys’ side, Jonah Billings ‘23 finished first with a time of 15:48.1. Close behind were runners Chance Leandro ‘25 in fourth and Braeden Elliott ‘24 in fifth with times of 16:37.0 and 16:51.1, respectively. With these top finishes, the Dragon boys totaled 29 points to earn a gleaming first place. 

Elliott emphasized on what the team expects the season to look like, “We’re planning on going to state this year. We didn’t get to go last year because lots of the seniors and other teammates were sick or injured.” 

On the girls’ side, unfortunate circumstances allowed for great opportunity. Becca Walker ‘24, the team’s fastest runner last season, began the race with her usual quick pace before she succumbed to an injury and was unable to complete the race. The loss of their top runner majorly affected Foothill Tech’s team score, but a new star was able to rise up and fill the absence left by Walker. Keera Wallace ‘26 got out with incredible speed, running with steady pacing in order to maintain first place throughout the entire race. As the freshman finished first with a time of 20:00.1, nearly an entire minute ahead of second place, there were loud cheers and astonished looks as the young runner made her name known.

Aside from Wallace, Kiersten Falat ‘23 took ninth place in 21:37.3, along with a tenth place finish for Beatrice Barnes with a 21:40.3. The girls were able to secure an overall second place behind the Cate School Rams. Caitlyn O’Neil ‘23 reflected with, “Going into this race we didn’t really have very many expectations other than the fact that we’re just going to run hard for each other.”

With the first league meet behind them, the team looks forward to a hardworking season. Their next meet will be at the Central Park Invitational on Saturday, Oct. 1.

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