Cross country aims to make state championships

September 23, 2008 — by Sophia Cooper and Kelly Lamble

Four boys’ varsity Division III teams make the big meet, the one that really counts. The CIF state championships.

Saratoga is currently ranked fifth. Move up one spot and they’ll be in.

Gaining that one spot, however, will be a challenge. The team has already been set back with one injury to No. 3 runner junior Nick Olsen, who tore his IT band (part of the upper leg) due to overtraining.

“I hope to begin training again in three to four weeks,” said Olsen. “We are still going to state [despite my injury].”

Replacing Olsen at the Saratoga Scrimmage on Sept. 18, a league meet in which Fremont, Homestead, Wilcox, Lynbrook, Saratoga, Milpitas, and Los Gatos raced, was sophomore Garrick Chan. Other newcomers to the varsity team are freshmen Harry Curtis and Eren Veziroglu.

Senior Alan Menezes finished first at the Scrimmage with an unofficial time of 10:03, breaking the course record set last year by fellow senior Kian Banks by three seconds. Banks came in third with an unofficial time of 10:26.

The top seven runners, including sophomore Kyle Fukui and junior Kyle Borch, have not been racing at the league-sanctioned school meets, such as the Lynbrook Center meet on Sept. 4 and the Firebird Invitational at Fremont High on Sept. 11. Coach Jerry Banks believes racing once a week is too much stress for their bodies and that by the end of the season they will not have enough left for the important races.

The team’s first competitive meet was the Earlybird Invitational on Sept. 6. The race was held on the 3.0 mile course at Toro Park, the site of this year’s CCS Championships.

Menezes finished 10th in the senior boys’ race with a time of 16:33, followed by Banks in 21st in 17:33. Fukui came in 22nd out of the sophomore boys in 18:02. Curtis finished 29th in the freshman boys’ race at 19:22.

The top seven boys will race tomorrow at the prestigious 5K Stanford Invitational. This race could be a tell-tale indicator as to the reality of the team making state.

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