Thursday was a perfect afternoon for a cross country race in the midst of fall colors, moderate temps, and modest crowd of masked parents and teammates. Monument Valley Park has provided the backdrop for many CSS races, but this year’s Regional was one for the record books. Personal bests (PBs) were abundant throughout the team, and for the first time in school history, the Kodiaks will send a male runner to the CHSAA State Championship meet next weekend.
Senior captain Orlando M. earned a trip to the State Championship next Saturday with a personal best 5K run of 18:54 for 13th place. This achievement is a first for any Kodiak boys’ cross country runner with the closest attempt last season by Clay Roles ’19. Sophomore Andrew H. ran a gutsy race and finished just shy of his season best at 24:02 while freshman Alex H. finished with a PR of 24:57. Senior Aaron Y., who has competed for 4 years, was unable to attend today’s meet.
Senior captain Heather H. lead the girls’ team again with a season-best of 25:03 for 28th. Freshman Lucia S. finished in 30th with a PR of 26:22, senior Brooke A. ran a season-best of 27:15, and senior Kaylin P. also ran a PR of 29:33. This group of girls captured the Black Forest League title last week at Peyton.
“Coach (David) Benson and I are very proud of the individual and team efforts today. Nearly every runner ran a season or lifetime best and reaped the rewards of weeks of consistent training and hard work,” commented head coach, Jolly Cunha. “Orlando realized his long-time goal of qualifying for the state meet showing his talent, experience, and true grit. He’s earned the right to toe the line with the state’s best runners next week and compete one last time as a Kodiak.” CSS says farewell to five senior runners who have committed years, miles, and sweat for the Kodiak XC program. Thanks seniors!