Cross Country off to a quick start at first meet

Ellie Hanssler, Staff Writer 

Both Boys and Girls Cross Country competed in their first meet of the season at Laguna Hills High School, resulting in many impressive times and high rankings within the division last Saturday, September 9.
The Laguna Hills Invitational, a course notorious for being particularly hilly, hot and difficult, was the first race for many members of the team.
“It was a little bit difficult, but with the training it was doable,” freshman Julia Baldi said.
Baldi finished the race with a time of 24:31.
Many of the junior and senior runners were unable to race in this first meet due to standardized testing such as the ACT or SAT II being scheduled on the same day. Top runners such as junior Ryan Duffy were missing, however, the underclassmen were still able to deliver some impressive times.
Freshman Caio Souza placed eighth in his race, running with a time of 18:22; sophomore Michael Blinstrub placed seventeenth with a time of 17:28 and sophomore Collette Lowengrub won first in her race with a time of 19:03, whose rank helped the Girls Sophomore team place third in their division out of seventeen other teams.
“It was a difficult race, but we prepared a lot for this, so I’m definitely looking forward to the rest of the season,” Lowengrub said.
The upperclassmen that were able to compete, such as junior Avery Klauke, junior Raja Batra and senior Chris Lohmeyer, also placed high in their own races.
Batra and Lohmeyer competed with times of 17:09 and 17:56 respectively, while Klauke placed fourth in her race, running with a time of 19:17.
When asked about how she felt she raced, Klauke said that “it was definitely a hard race because it was so hot and because it was the first race, but I think after you finish it’s rewarding.”
Senior Cecilia Langlois, one of the Girl’s Cross Country captains and currently the fastest female runner for University, ran with a time of 20:54, despite being injured.
When commenting on his hopes for the Varsity team following Saturday’s race, Blinstrub said that he believed “that our team is able to make it [to CIF] this year.”
(Social Science) teacher Tracy Bebout, one of the Girls Cross Country Coaches, also spoke highly of her team.
“We had a really good season last year, and we’re just excited to see what we can do…. I think that the goal would be to get those top three girls (Klauke, Lowengrub, and Langlois) to C.I.F. and just see how far they can go. But I have also seen improvement among all the girl runners from last year, so that’s been exciting too,” Bebout said.
Both Cross Country teams hope to continue their success at their next meet, the Woodbridge Invitational, taking place this Friday the 14 in Norco.