Battling a week of tight calves, stiff hips, sore throats and lost shoes, the Panthers overcame and battled their way to some fine performances at the 16th annual Farmer Invitational at Hayward High School on Saturday.
“This week has been challenging,” sighed girls junior varsity coach and 2015 graduate Ariana Corwin. “A few of our runners have had some aches and pains this week. Sore shins, calves, hips…. A little bit of everything this week. Hopefully a couple of nights of sleep and some ice will get us going again next week.”
Despite their aches and pains, several Panthers still showed very well on Saturday. Junior captain Riley Hartney ran his fastest time ever on the Hayward course, covering the NCS Championship course in 17:05. Riley currently ranks among the top runners in the TCAL.
Fellow junior Zax Lieske and freshman Mateo Malko-Allen also broke the 18:00 barrier… Zax overcoming a slow start to finish in 17:56, while Mateo, running in the frosh-soph race, finished as the highest Panther finisher of the day (12th) while running 17:50. Fellow freshman Adrian Licea, himself a super talented frosh with “huge potential” according to coach Gonzalez, lost his left shoe halfway through the race but still managed to finish 26th in 18:26.
Sophomore Jeffrey Norris was the 3rd runner in for the Panthers in the F/S race, running 18:28… with freshmen Nico Laub-Sabater breaking 19:00 minutes (18:51) and Jurgis Vass breaking 20:00 in their first ever 3 mile races. Seniors Talyn Mitchell (18:29) and Alex Rudolph (18:58) ran what coach Rogers said was their “best ever races in a Saint Mary’s uniform. Both of them were great today.”
The Frosh/Soph girls, comprised of 6 freshmen girls, were the highest placing team of the day. Their 6th place finish against powerhouses like Dublin and Granada was “pretty incredible” according to coach Corwin. Leiah Goode matched her time trial placing with an equally impressive 22:25 run at Hayward. She was a mere one place away from a medal. Argh!
Sofia Jackson, whose grit and determination are frequent conversation topics amongst the coaches, was the 2nd runner in for the Panthers. She was just :01 seconds behind Leiah. Last week’s top performer, Summer Graham, was nursing a sore hip but still managed to place 3rd in 22:43. Cally McIntyre, Georgia Rogers, and Taryn Fettig completed the team scoring and finished but 1 point from 5th.
The varsity girls, without top performer Jordan Cornet – home nursing sore calves, were led by 2018 all-league performers Nan Wemmer and Olivia Lawson. Both Nan (21:06) and Olivia (21:29) broke the 22:00 minute barrier, while teammate and senior co-captain Wiona Tan finished 3rd on the team in 22:37. Sophomore Mallory Boell, running her finest race as a Panther, placed 4th in 22:50… while juniors Simone Rogers (23:20) and Ashley Robarts (23:49) completed the team scoring.