Cross country season comes to a close

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After a hearty meal of turkey and stuffing, the runners put on their racing flats and went out to run the last race of their season.  Spending most of the holiday weekend driving to Clovis, the runners wouldn’t have wanted to spend their Thanksgiving any other way as they had earned their spot in the CIF California Cross Country State Meet.

On Nov. 29, four individuals from Granada’s cross-country team awoke not to go shopping for Black Friday deals, but to run in the meet they had been waiting for all season.  Senior Crisitan Cucuta was the only boy from Granada who qualified for state, and his excitement showed as he donned as much CIF state merchandise he could from a beanie to a backpack.

“This is my Christmas gift for this year,” Cucuta said happily.

That excitement carried over into his race where he ran the full 5k course with a time of 16:09, placing 57th out of the 193 runners in his first ever Division 1 state race out of the four years he has run cross country.

The girls also approached their second state meet with an air of enthusiasm and hoped to improve their times.  In the last race of the day, junior Natalie Realegeno placed 50th out of 199 runners with a time of 19:04.  Realegeno improved immensely, cutting her time down from her 19:46 finish in 131st place from last year’s state meet as a sophomore.  Senior Tessa Weinberg ran 19:45 and sophomore Jazmine Macias finished her second state meet to match her two years on the team with a time of 20:36.

“Running at state made me feel very accomplished.  I feel like my hard work paid off, and it felt good running with the best people in the state,” Macias said.

Macias hopes to qualify for state all four years of high school, and is now focusing on training for the upcoming track season next semester.  While it was the last race for some, both Cucuta and Realegeno competed in the Foot Locker West Regional race on Dec. 6 where they raced against athletes from across the country.

Realegeno ran in the junior girls’ race and put up a strong performance, placing her fourth out of 251 junior girls.  She put up a time of 20:03 on the grueling Mt. SAC course.  Cucuta also performed well with a time of 17:18 in the boys’ seeded race.

Ending the season strong, the runners can now focus on the upcoming track season where we can expect fast times in the long distance events.

—Tessa Weinberg

Visit http://theplaidpress.com/category/sports to read more stories about Granada’s sports teams.