By ELEANOR HANSSLER
This past Saturday, Cross Country competed in the Orange County Invitational, a race featuring almost one-hundred different teams from all across the county. Heavy rain from the night before and during the meet made the course extremely muddy, ultimately leading to the cancellation of the Boys Sophomore and JV races due to safety reasons.
“I was surprised that they still had the race because it was really rainy and slippery and cold and miserable,” freshman Kayla Vakilian said, who ran with a time of 26:17.
Despite this weather throughout, the meet was only cancelled when one of the runners from the Girl’s Sweepstakes race was injured while running due to the poor course conditions.
“Personally, I think it was a good idea for it to be cancelled because people were getting injured in the races before us. But I would have liked to have run it to see what the conditions would have been like and I think it would have been a fun race” sophomore Lilly Bernecker said, whose race was cancelled minutes before it was supposed to take place.
Another challenge for the team was the PSAT being scheduled for the same day, which meant that almost all of the junior runners were missing, including strong individuals such as Ryan Duffy and Avery Klauke. Because of this, University did not have a Girl’s JV team compete in the race.
However, for some runners, the meet was not all rain and mud. Seniors on the team were honored by the typical varsity team being replaced with an all senior team, providing a chance to run in a highly competitive race that most of the runners had never had before. Such was the case for senior Amber Sun, who finished with a time of 23:25.
“It was really fun running with all my senior friends… you know, it was a team experience,”Sun said.
Senior Cecilia Langlois, a regular Varsity runner, finished first for University and eleventh overall with a time of 19:32. Overall, the Girl’s team finished eleventh out of thirteen other teams. Senior Reese Carlton, another Varsity regular, finished first for University and fifty-sixth overall, finishing the course with a time of 18:05. Boy’s Varsity placed fifteenth out of fifteenth in their race overall.
The Girl’s Freshman team placed sixth out of eleven other teams, with runners Allisa Kopylova and Gwen Sanders placing thirteenth and fourteenth respectively. The Boy’s Freshmen team placed ninth out of fifteen other teams. Notably, Caio Souza finished twelfth in his race with a time of 17:21.
The last race to take place before the meet was ultimately cancelled was the Girl’s Varsity Sweepstakes, in which sophomore Collette Lowengrub was University’s only participant. Despite running through heavy rain, and nearly slipping going down the slick muddy hills several times, Lowengrub was able to finish twenty- fourth out of one-hundred and ten other runners with a time of 18:35, also a course PR.
The next Cross Country meet will take place next Saturday, October 20th, at the Mount S.A.C Invitational.