Boys battle injuries, prepare for end of season

November 17, 2008 — by Kelly Lamble and Sophia Cooper

While most sports teams are caught up in the frenzy of end-of-season games, boys’ cross country is taking a different approach. Instead of racing at a slew of meets for league finals, they are racing less to ensure that their bodies are in optimal condition for the races that count.

“We aren’t racing all of the small meets, so that we can focus more on workouts so that at the end of the season we can perform better at the big meets like CCS,” said senior co-captain Kian Banks.

Part of the reason for this cautious strategy is that the entire varsity team, with the exception of senior James Arroyo, has been injured at some point this season.

Both senior co-captains Banks and Alan Menezes battled with recurring knee injuries, while junior Kyle Borch and sophomore Kyle Fukui dealt with shin splints. In addition, junior Nick Olsen was out almost the entire season due to a strained IT band.

“Everyone seems to be getting totally random injuries,” said Banks. “It’s just really bad luck.”

The boys hope to be healthy by Nov. 4 for the De Anza League Finals. As they are the only Division III team in the DAL, the boys are automatically qualified for CCS. However, they are planning on doing a lot more than merely qualifying for CCS.

“If we are all feeling strong, we have a good chance at winning league finals,” said Banks.

Although the boys are racing less, they did compete in the Lynbrook Invitational on Oct. 30, using the race as a 2.1 mile warm-up. Menezes got out kicked in the last 100m, placing second in 10:20, three seconds behind the winner. Banks came in second for Saratoga in sixth place and 10:54.

Borch finished in 11:07 for a twelfth place finish, and Fukui came in at 11:29 in 25th place. Freshman Harry Curtis ran strong with a time of 11:40, while James Arroyo finished in 11:49.

Olsen struggled in his first race since tearing his IT band a few months ago.

“[Olsen] had to run because he had to run in a league meet to be eligible to run at CCS and state,” said Banks.
The team placed second overall at the meet, losing to Lynbrook. The two teams were tied up to the fifth man so the score went to a sixth-man tiebreaker, where they lost by one point, 75-76.

Due to publication deadlines, the results of the race were unable to be printed. While league finals is the first of the races that counts for continuing on with its season, the team is already looking ahead to CCS Championships, where they have to place in the top four to make the state championships.