By BROOKE BAXTER
Girl’s Cross Country captains Senior Avery Klauke and Junior Collette Lowengrub took part in the C.I.F. Southern Section Division Prelims at the Riverside Cross Country Course this past Saturday, November 16th.
Senior Klauke – qualifying for this race the year prior – said:
“…Being able to make it back to C.I.F. this year was really special, especially since this was my last season.”
In order to qualify, a runner must place in the top seven overall, which both girls achieved. Lowengrub and Klauke placed second and seventh respectively in the Pacific Coast League Finals at Mason Regional Park just nine days prior to Prelims.
“This was my second time at C.I.F. but last year I was able to run with the entire varsity team” said Klauke.
“Unfortunately, [this year] we didn’t qualify for C.I.F. as a team, but there were lots of PRs” which was a great victory in itself” said Lowengrub. “[As for C.I.F.,]“the course was flat, but had a lot of potholes and was very dusty”.
Despite the conditions, the two persevered and successfully finished their races.
“My biggest asset would probably be my experience. Being able to race every course a few times really helped me predict how I would run in [these] conditions” Klauke said.
Lowengrub placed thirty-ninth overall with a time of 18:54. Last year she ran a 17:55, placing twenty-ninth overall.
“My time from C.I.F. was slower this year because I didn’t have as much time to train as last year. I was injured for a couple months and wasn’t able to run at all, so I had to come back with much less practice than I would’ve liked” said Lowengrub.
Klauke ran a 18:41, placing twenty-second at the Riverside Course.
“The biggest challenge was definitely keeping up with the other schools. Teams are continuing to get better and better every season and I’ve always tried to be competitive” Klauke said.
As their competition expanded, captains Klauke and Lowengrub continued to nurture their bond through hard work and support.
“I look up to Avery because she’s been my running buddy for the past three years,” Lowengrub said. “She’s just so hardworking and never gives up which encourages me to try harder as well. It’s going to be very different without her next year”.