The final TCAL league meet of the year pitted both the undefeated Saint Mary’s boy’s and girl’s teams against their cross-town, undefeated rivals – the Albany Cougars. Both teams lined up their best squads in hopes of garnering both a victory, an undefeated season, and at least a share of the TCAL championship. Battling the wind, their nerves, and their competitors, the Saint Mary’s girls and Albany boys came out on top.
The girl’s squad, who have not lost a league meet since St. Joseph exited the TCAL 4 years ago, dominated their meet with the Cougars… leaving no doubt about who the favorite will be heading into next month’s league championship race. After Albany claimed the top finisher, the girls squad placed all 7 of their runners next to dominate the race and secure the win.
Juniors Jordan Cornet and Nan Wemmer were once again the top two finishers for the Panthers, while senior Wiona Tan, freshman Sofia Jackson and junior Olivia Lawson all scoring for the champions. Freshmen Summer Graham and Leiah Goode, whose graduation to the varsity ranks is clearly complete, followed close behind the top 5.
The boy’s squad, featuring a pair of freshmen, a pair of sophomores, a trio of juniors, and a pair of seniors gave the defending TCAL champion Cougars all they wanted on the Point Pinole course before finally succumbing. Team captain Riley Hartney was edged by a scant :03 seconds for the overall win; freshman Mateo Malko-Allen lost the battle for 3rd place by :06 seconds… the same distance that separated junior Zax Lieske from 5th place. So, the Panthers lost to the Cougars by a mere :15 seconds. Freshman Adrian Licea and sophomores Ryan Painter and Jeffrey Norris all ran solid races according to head coach Jeff Rogers.
The JV girls team, like the varsity, won dominated their race against the Cougars while the JV boys team, like the varsity, did not. The JV girls race was won by freshman standout Julia Runyan, whose prowess as a runner has not gone un-noticed by the coaches.
Varsity team members Mallory Boell, Ashley Robarts and Simone Rogers – dropping down for some late season speed work – finished next for the team – with the freshmen trio of Cally McIntyre, Georgia Rogers and Taryn Fettig following close behind. Freshman Emilia Podesta, Pepper Rosen, Rosa Hochschild, and Faith Dessart also were complimented by coach Ariana Corwin for their nice runs.
Next up for the Panthers is the Mariner Invitational – this Saturday at Hayward High School – home of the NCS Championship meet.