Someone always has to be the 8th team, the team that just misses the cut for State. On Saturday, it was us. It was Oaks Christian and San Marino battling for that last seat on the Fresno bus. Oaks Christian got the ticket on the strength of 7th and 14th place finishes which gave them a mere 6 point victory. Sophomore Olivia Harrigian, who historically had struggled at SAC, knocked it out of the park with a 19:16 run at the Finals. Think that she doesn’t like SAC now? Senior Alissa Barraza closed her high school cross country career with a 29th place finish, not what she expected. Junior Sarah Linton, a model of consistency, ripped off her second-best time on the SAC course to finish 38th.
We said in the preview of the Finals that if Veronica had a good race, the girls would make it. We were wrong. Veronica did her part. Ronnie really busted one on Saturday, finishing in 20:17. She ran a 21:45 on this same course in October. Kudos to the senior for that career closer. Sophomore Carlin Koch is a natural fit to the treacherous terrain of SAC and she demonstrated that once again as she duplicated her Prelims performance with a 21:05.
While they may be a little disappointed not to be running in the State meet, these girls really distinguished themselves this year. League Champions. And this is a deep team with 5 of 7 CIF Finals athletes returning in 2014. Congratulations on a memorable season.