The 2019 season began last week when a few runners competed at the Monte Vista Invitational, but to many the official season kicks off with the annual running of the time trial. For a 21st consecutive season, the team time trial was run on the rolling 1.9 mile course at Tilden Park. Both coaches and runners gear up for the race, as history, records and bragging rights are at stake.
“As a coaching staff, we look forward to the team time trial,” said boys coach Rob Riccardi. “We get a chance to see how our summer running has paid off, and we get to see the potential of the newcomers. It’s certainly one of the most exciting times of the season for us.”
Exciting times were definitely posted by several of the junior girls and freshmen boys. Junior Jordan Cornet was the days fastest girl, running the 10th fastest time ever for an 11th grader… finishing in 13:34. Teammate, and fellow classmate, Nan Wemmer was next at 13:40.. good for 12th all-time. Olivia Lawson, herself an all-league selection a year ago, ran 13:56 to post the 15th fastest ever.
The other big story from the time trial was the performance of a pair of freshman boys… Mateo Malko-Allen and Adrian Licea. Mateo, whose coach – Mr. Riccardi – owns the 2nd fastest time ever from a 9th grader, gave a brave and galliant run to try and outdo his coach, only to fall a scant :06 seconds shy. Still, his 11:44 is now the 3rd fastest ever. Teammate Adrian Licea, also a pupil of coaches Riccardi and Gonzalez, ran 11:55, placing 6th amongst all runners (JV & Varsity!) while posting the 5th fastest 9th grade time ever.
The top JV girls time was turned in by 9th grader Leiah Goode, whose 15:45 was just enough to stay ahead of hard charging teammates Summer Graham (15:50) and Sofia Jackson (15:52). Next up for the Panthers is the annual Ed Sias Invitational on Saturday, September 14th at Hidden Valley Park in Martinez.