Women’s Varsity Cross Country Team bests the competition in a momentous season

by Emily Williams (’22) | November 19, 2021

Photo by Christel Elkins (’22)

This year’s Women’s Varsity Cross Country Team had a season for the record books. The girls started off the season with a scrimmage at Gunn High School, followed by the Farmer Invitational at Hayward High School. Then, in late September, the first WCAL race was held; Lancers placed first with a score of 19 points, with Mitty coming in second with 43. The tough conditions at Golden Gate Park in San Francisco had little effect on the girls, five of whom placed in the top six. 

Fast forward to the beginning of October, when the Serra Invitational took place at the Crystal Springs course. This course is one of the rare places where viewers can see most of the race from one spot; in most cross country races, the course will wind over hills and into valleys so that spectators must move with the race if they want a good view. Just a week later the runners travelled to the Clovis Invitational at Woodward Park in Fresno, followed by the second WCAL race at Baylands Park in Sunnyvale on October 20. There the Lancers placed with a score of 22 points, beating out Mitty for the top spot again, this time by 27 points. This time, four of the girls placed in the top six, with freshman Sabrina Zanetto taking the first place title. 

Two weeks later, the third and final WCAL race took place, again at the Crystal Springs course. For a third time Saint Francis placed first, which obtained them the title of WCAL champions. Zanetto once more got the top spot, among four other Lancers in the top six. This newfound status as league champions gave the Lancers momentum going into the postseason. The CCS Championship Meet took place November, and suffice it to say the girls got the job done— they took first place in Division Ⅱ, with a combined score of 45 points and respective placings of 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, and 11th. They won by a large margin, with Willow Glen coming in second at 94 points. With this win, the team is off to the CIF State Championships on November 27 in Fresno. 

The competition will be fierce, but the girls are up for the challenge. Briana Valdes (’23) summed it up perfectly: “I hope to finish the season with our team running really well at States. I hope that no matter what place or times we get, we can all put forth a race we… are proud of. I hope to finish the season with a PR, but most importantly, [I] want to finish being proud of all the hard work that went into this season.” Under the leadership of Coach Philip Pompei, the team of two freshmen, one sophomore, three juniors, and one senior is looking like they will finish off the season on a high note. And this year’s success won’t be a one-time occurrence—the team is relatively young and has a future ahead of them. For now, however, they just need to execute a performance at States. Given the talent on this team, it seems quite likely.

Categories: Sports

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