Boys’ cross country team hopes to cross previous obstacles unscathed

September 9, 2019 — by Sina Salehi and Nitya Marimuthu

The team has high hopes of making it to State Finals this year.

Head Coach: Ian Tippetts

League: De Anza

Recap: The Falcons advanced to CCS finals in Toro Park last year, falling short of the state finals in part because star runner Harrison Dance was out with an illness. On a positive note, the team achieved the highest academic GPA award out of the teams competing. 

Star athletes: sophomore Harrison Dance, seniors Kole Tippetts and Shivam Verma

Key Losses to graduation: Nirav Adunuthula, David Berkowitz-Sklar

 

Prognosis: 

The team is a tight-knit group of experienced athletes who have run for multiple seasons; the team averages 40-60 miles per week, with mileage increasing per week.  Dance and Sina Salehi were freshmen on the team last year and return along with juniors Niyanth Rao and Bryan Young and seniors Shivam Verma, Kole Tippetts and Jonathan Zhou, creating a stable, experienced base. 

“This year it is more about us building the team up from what we had last year as opposed to bringing in more people,” Tippetts said. “Our team’s in a pretty good spot right now so it’s just getting [to state finals] at this point.”

The stable lineup has increased their mileage already. While in previous years, the boys would slowly ramp up their mileage and only start running 8 mile distances after the first meet, the team has already begun running these longer routes. 

Although the team experienced some losses due to graduation, their times improved despite this. “The team has technically gotten faster this year as opposed to last year, so I’m not as worried about the team as much as I’m excited that runners like Dance and Verma are just going to get faster,” Tippetts said. 

The varsity runners have high expectations for the season, with Dance and Verma hoping to achieve low and sub 16:00 times at the Crystal Springs course in Belmont, and many of the runners along with Coach Ian Tippetts expressed expectations to run in the state finals this year. 

In order to qualify for the state meet at Woodward Park in Fresno on Nov. 23, the team needs to place among the top two at the Central Coast Section (CCS) Finals on Nov. 16 at Crystal Springs in Belmont.