By BROOKE BAXTER
Cross Country persevered from start to finish in the uphill battle of the Mt. SAC Invitational course on Saturday, October 26.
Despite the notorious dry and dusty conditions that come along with the course, runners would not give up, as this meet was the last of the season before League finals and CIF.
When asked about the race, Senior Captain Avery Klauke said “[Conditions were] both hot and extremely difficult, due to the hills. It was definitely not my fastest race, but what helped me was reminding myself that everyone around me was under the same conditions, trying to do the exact same thing.”
Caption Klauke was the first to finish for the Girls Varsity team, placing 11th with a time of 19:30. Following runners Sophomore Allissa Kopylova and Junior Sydney Field also ran a strong race, finishing with a time of 20:37 and 22:21, respectively.
“I was really nervous going into the race because hills aren’t exactly my forte” Field explained. “It was also hot by the time I raced and I was really tired from the week before. My teammate and running buddy, Ambi [Junior Amberley Martinez], was not at the race so I ran by myself the whole time.”
Junior Vani Tankha also played a key role in helping the girls place, as she ran a 23:07 this Saturday.
“I thought that we all gave it our all and performed well. Mt. SAC is always such a hard meet and I thought that out the whole team ran really well and had a really good meet overall” Tankha said.
Senior Captain Raja Batra, Michael Blinstrub, Dylan Muniz, Jet Charter, and Yaseen Sattar were the top runners to place for the UHS Boy’s Varsity team.
“I felt pretty good about this race. The conditions weren’t the best, but I loved the… 3 major hills.” said Blinstrub. “I felt pretty good before going into this race. I ran with… my friend Raja, and we actually ran a pretty smart race for the first 2 miles working with one and another to keep pushing each other through it”.
Batra ran a 16:56, followed by Blinstrub, who finished the race with a 17:15.
Coming in with a 17:30, Muniz said, “It felt really good because I struggled a bit in the previous race and this particular course had a lot of hills. [It] was really tough so I was happy with my time and I was glad to place third on our team behind [teammates] Raja Batra and Michael Blinstrub”.
Charter and Satar completed their races with times: 18:08 and 18:10, respectively.
“I feel good about my race personally because it was a 2min improvement since the last time I raced [at Mt. SAC]” Satar said. “The course itself was difficult for me to maintain my pace and make up lost ground. I felt energetic when I ran the race with my teammates because of the competitiveness we can have at times”.
As both Cross Country teams close in on the end of the season, they will be running in League Finals at William Mason Park on November 7th, at 3:00 PM.