The final invitational of the 2019 season was a scorcher… with PR’s abound and medals twinkling under the flash of IPhone cameras and smiling parents. The Panthers, fresh off their final TCAL league meet and looking forward to the league championship race next month, took advantage of great weather, fast races, and a competitive spirit to post an array of seasonal and lifetime best times on the 3.0 mile, NCS Championship course at Hayward High School.
The first highlight of the day was run by the freshmen girls. With a bevy of talent, moxy and supportive teammates, the fresh faces from the class of 2023 are making a case that they are the fastest class the team has seen in years. Sofia Jackson, Leiah Goode and Summer Graham all ran varsity level times while taking home hardware.
The trio, separated by a scant :05 seconds, led the team to a first place finish among all freshmen groups and 3rd overall amongst the frosh-soph. In fact, they beat back the venerable McFarland group to take home the final team plaque. Julia Runyan, Georgia Rogers, Cally McIntyre and Taryn Fettig comprised coach Ariana Corwin’s 7 member winners.
“I’m so proud of those girls,” said coach Corwin on the way out of the meet. “They’ve come so far this year. Hopefully, days like today remind them of what their hard work and commitment can produce. We beat some really good teams today with a group that, for the most part, has only been running for 7 or 8 weeks. I think that’s awesome.”
The 7 member frosh-soph boys, featuring the teams fastest freshmen and three sophomores, also had a great day… just missing out on a team plaque but earning several PR’s and individual medals for their efforts. Super frosh Mateo Malko-Allen, whose wall is steadily filling up with individual medals and accolades, broke the 17:00 minute barrier while finishing as the top freshman and 6th overall in the 9th/10th grade race.
Sophomore Ryan Painter, who coach Jeff Rogers said had the days “top performance”, ran more than a half a minute faster than he ever has to place 15th overall and medal. Freshman Adrian Licea and sophomore Jeffrey Norris also broke the 18:00 mark… Adrian finishing in 17:47 with Jeffrey :12 back in 17:59. Freshman Nico Laub-Sabater completed the scoring for the Panthers, with sophomore Dominic Storella finally making his 2019 invitational debut.
The varsity teams, themselves no strangers to success and praise, were led by a quartet of juniors. Nan Wemmer and Olivia Lawson both ran under 21:00 minutes for coach Mohun’s squad… while Riley Hartney and Zax Lieske each ran just over 17:00 minutes to pace the boys. Sophomore Mallory Boell had a big 3 mile PR, flirting but falling an excruciating ½ second short of breaking the 22:00 minute barrier.
Juniors Ashley Robarts (23:05) and Simone Rogers (23:24) completed the scoring for the Panthers. Seniors Talyn Mitchell (18:35) and Alex Rudolph (18:41) finished 3rd and 4th for the boys… with 11th grader Matteo Brownlow (19:58) finishing the day for Saint Mary’s.