Freshman Ryan Bova led a pack of five other Foothill cross-country runners to the finish line in the boys’ junior varsity race on Thursday, earning a time of 17:15.57 for the three-mile course. Beyond giving him first place, his time, according to Coach Ken Reeves, “shattered” the previous Foothill junior varsity record.
“It felt very good [to win the race], but also very bad, because I was very tired, and ready to collapse,” Bova said.
However, Bova was just the first of six Foothill boys’ junior varsity runners to finish the course in a row.
The “sweep” of the top six finishes gave the team the win with a score of 15, the best score a cross-country team can earn.
Yet the junior varsity boys were not the only Foothill runners chasing victory in Thursday’s meet at El Camino Real Park. Indeed, the varsity girls, junior varsity girls, and varsity boys all won their races as well, giving Foothill the overall win for the meet.
The junior varsity boys defeated seven other teams, with a score of 15 and an overall time of 1:28:03.79. The junior varsity girls defeated six other teams, with a score of 20 and a total time of 1:46:08.68.
Junior Gabby Sones won the junior varsity girls’ race, finishing with a time of 20:29.94.
Sophomore Olivia Burton, who took second place with a time of 20:45.38, was proud of the fact that she “broke 21 minutes.” However, she also saw ways she and her teammates can improve.
“[We can] work together, work hard, be proud, be positive,” Burton said.
The boys’ varsity runners beat out eight other teams for the top spot, earning 39 points and a total race time of 1:22:15.43. Junior Jared Rodriguez was the first Foothill runner across the line taking third place with a time of 15:28.14.
Finally, the girls’ varsity team defeated nine other teams to take the victory, earning 41 points and a total time of 1:38:26.90. Junior Raquel Tadeo was the first Foothill runner to finish, taking fourth place with a time of 19:13.22.
“It was pretty exciting. I was working off my teammates, and then I just kept going, and I was just pretty excited. I was having a lot of fun,” Tadeo said.
However, Tadeo also sees avenues of improvement for the cross-country team.
“I think we can definitely [improve], once we start practicing more unitedly, and building together more as a team, working as one, we’ll definitely work off each other and help us get through the entire race,” she said.
Though Assistant Coach Jason Dinkler wanted to go into the meet without any pre-judgements, he was still proud of the end result.
“I don’t ever want to have the expectation that we’re going to win, but I was hoping that we would, and I’m definitely pleased that we did,” Dinkler said.
Junior Brodie Shore and Coach Reeves believed that, because the El Camino Real course was flatter than other circuits, runners got faster times than they ordinarily would.
“We know it’s a faster course, so obviously our times were a lot faster than the other races are, but it met our expectations,” Shore said.
For sophomore Kekoa Akuna, the camaraderie among the cross country runners is the best part of the sport.
“I feel like the best thing is that we’re a team. Everyone supports each other in full, and just pushes each other to improve, and I really like that our team does that,” Akuna said.
Background Photo Credit: Rachel Horiuchi/The Foothill Dragon Press