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The Saratoga Falcon

The Saratoga Falcon

The Saratoga Falcon

Cross country performs well at invitationals and meets

Saachi Jain
Senior Elizabeth Stoiber and juniors Raghav Rajan and Diego Rocabado cheer on sophomore Timothy Leung during the Baylands’ meet on Sept. 20.

For the first time in its history, the girls’ and boys’ cross country teams have merged under coaches Ian and Kathy Tippetts, longtime coaches of the boys’ team, following the departure of many key athletes and former girls’ coach Danny Moon.

“I think the coaching change is definitely a new atmosphere for the girls’ team because Moon was more casual than Coach Tippetts,” senior co-captain Elizabeth Stoiber said. “With Tippetts, the girls can be more competitive.”

Despite seeing a significant dip in female participants — from 53 last year to 17 this year — the team has maintained their practice routine six days a week. 

While key runner Stoiber is recovering from a stress injury, she has modified her plan in hopes of making CCS this season. 

“It’s definitely a deja vu moment in the sense that I got a stress fracture sophomore year that caused me to sit out the entire track season,” Stoiber said. “These injuries have taught me that rest can be good, cross training and strength training is really important and sometimes you just have to make the best of uncontrollable situations.” 

Stoiber decided to run meets, but reverted to cross training in between. She and the girls’ team placed 5th out of 14 at the RAM Invitational on Sept. 24. The varsity boys’ team, with Tong added for the race, placed 9th of 18.

Other highlights from the RAM Invitational included sophomore Anisha Rahut, who medaled as 22nd in varsity girls, along with Stoiber, who placed 7th individually.

On Sept. 20, the entire team ran their first league meet, a 5K (or 3.1-mile-equivalent) race, at Baylands Park in Sunnyvale. The course was mostly flat with slight hills, and 17 runners set a personal record.

Placing 5th out of 14 teams, the frosh-soph boys saw an “all-around great performance” from their athletes, according to Stoiber. Freshman Jack Tong placed highest of all frosh-soph boys, running an 18:25 for 3.1 miles.

The JV girls placed last of 11, and varsity boys came in 11th out of 13. The varsity girls finished 9th out of 12, despite Stoiber’s absence due to her injury.

A week before Baylands’, the teams first raced on Sept. 10 at Golden Gate Park in San Francisco with the top seven runners for the boys and the girls participating in the race. The boys placed 25th out of 34 teams and the girls placed 17th out of 25 teams. 

Since their latest meets, the team has returned to their normal practice schedule six days a week and has increased the intensity of their runs in preparation for upcoming races. Their next invitational is at Half Moon Bay on Oct. 1 for the top seven boys and girls, and their next meet is at Crystal Springs in San Mateo for the entire team on Oct. 4. 

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