Boys’ cross country barely miss state finals

November 20, 2008 — by Sophia Cooper and Kelly Lamble

They were so close.

After their fifth-place finish in the Division 3 race at the Nov. 15 CCS finals at Toro Park in Salinas, the boys’ cross-country team missed its season goal of qualifying for the state meet by just one spot. The team fell short to Monterey High by only 26 points, 149 to 123.

The team was led by senior Alan Menezes, who finished 13th in the 3-mile race with a time of 16:50. Senior Kian Banks followed, finishing 25th in 17:22.

“Personally, I’m not happy because [my time] was a lot worse than I ran at the beginning of the season this year,” said Menezes. “Actually, it was worse than I ran at the beginning of the season of sophomore year, so I was pretty disappointed about that.”

Sophomore Kyle Fukui raced a personal best, finished 30th in 17:40. Juniors Nick Olsen and Kyle Borch finished 43rd and 48th, respectively. Also racing were freshman Harry Curtis, who finished 50th, and sophomore Garrick Chan, who finished 63rd.

“Our younger guys PR’d so that was good,” said Menezes. “But as for all of our upperclassmen, we all did a lot worse than we expected.”

A few of the key members of the team were recovering from recent injuries. Menezes did not race at league finals at Crystal Springs in Belmont on Nov. 4, and took a week off of training to heal a swollen knee. Olsen tore his I.T., which runs along the outside of the leg and connects the hip to just below the knee, in the beginning of the season, only racing twice at the Lynbrook Invitational on Oct. 30 and at CCS finals.

“Nick did OK considering that he hasn’t run all season, but Kian, Kyle and I were all pretty disappointed with our races,” said Menezes.

Despite losing two of their top runners to graduation, the team remains optimistic for a chance to qualify for state finals next season. It will still take hard work, but they are willing to make the necessary sacrifices and train year-round.

“I think our team is pretty much going to stay about the same as far as how good it is,” said Menezes. “Every year we’ve had the talent, but it hasn’t come together. I think next year it will be the same situation … hopefully it comes together for them. We still have [Olsen], [Borch], Fukui and [Curtis], and we have a [good] freshman coming in. They should be a good top five next year.”

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