First CCS win in decades: Girls’ cross country advances to states

Hallie Faust, Editor-in-Chief

Following its first-place win at the Central Coast Section Division I Cross Country Finals last Saturday, the Palo Alto High School girls’ cross country team is advancing to the California Interscholastic Federation State Championships.

The Vikings won by a large margin, scoring 44 points while the second-place team scored 131.

“I was really proud of our team,” senior Miranda Jimenez said. “We’ve come a long way. Every year we’ve gotten stronger, and it just felt great to win right before I leave Paly.”

Jimenez led the Paly pack, coming in eighth place with a time of 18:35.7. Freshman Hillary Studdert followed closely behind at 18:39.6, and senior Ella Ball took tenth place with a time of 18:42.8.

“We’ve been working really hard all season, so it felt good to have it all come together,” Jimenez said.

Junior Hailey Hwang and freshman Elizabeth Fetter closed out the scoring for the top five finishers, placing 14th and 15th respectively.

“Last year we made it to the CCS meet and we won leagues, but we didn’t make it to states,” Hwang said. “I feel like everyone has been working really hard this season and it feels really good.”

Jimenez is also glad to have had the opportunity to race again in the CCS meet after placing fifth with 129 points and not qualifying for states last year.

“We were so close last year and it was heartbreaking when we didn’t make it, so to have that win this year felt like redemption,” Jimenez said.

As the top two Division I finishers, the girls’ teams from both Paly and Gunn High School will represent the Central Coast at states. The Vikings will be racing against 22 other teams.

The Paly girls’ cross country team has not won CCS since 1998, according to coach Michael Davidson.

“There’s going to be some heavy competition from some of the other schools, and it would be great to be in the top ten,” Davidson said. “I’m really just looking forward for them to have a great race.”

The Vikings will race in the CIF State Championships at 11:30 a.m. on Nov. 30 at Woodward Park in Fresno.