Both Bonita’s boys’ and girls’ cross country teams qualified for CIF with the girls finishing second and the boys finishing third at League Finals. Only the top three teams out of six go on to CIF.
After competing in the Mt. Sac Invitational on Friday, it was necessary to help aid their endurance. Coach Shalynn Johanssen had her team focus more on maintaining pace instead of speed in their workouts so they don’t reach their peak and plateau before CIF begins.
“We’re doing more tempo runs and less speed now. It’s a little slower than race pace but it’s still trying to keep the same pace for a long workout,” said sophomore Valerie Warner.
The focus worked in Bonita’s favor with both teams. Senior Kelsey Creese finished ahead of the pack and was the league champion. Sophomore Alyssa Ward finished second for Bonita and eighth in the league. Warner, seniors Alicia Villarreal, Hollie Sedor and junior Noel Del Toro all finished at good times which gave them second place.
“I’m pretty surprised actually. I didn’t expect to be placed where I was. I’m proud too but I’m mostly surprised,” said Ward.
The boys stayed in the race and achieved their goal of making CIF. Senior Noah Anderson led the boys with an 8th-place finish in league. Junior Dillon Beckum finished three spots behind Anderson, sophomore David Hidalgo and junior Tyler Jackson were back-to-back, while sophomore Austin Keiser was alone and junior Tyler Abo and senior Peter Wang finished next to each other.
This race was the last for many and for the seniors.
“After the race, I loved this sport and I want to continue doing it in the future,” said Wang.
“Overall, I think we did pretty good. Some of us gapped a little but no matter what’s going on, we know how to bring ourselves up. We worked together and then we turned out to do good,” said Hidalgo.
After the success at League Finals, the focus has been shifted to CIF prelims on November 14. The team has set high goals throughout the season including going on even further.
“We want to take both teams to State [Championships] because that hasn’t happened in 10 years,” said Creese.
The team has shown major improvement from last year and could reach that goal. The next few weeks will be extremely important for them to get even closer to the grand prize.