Cross country prepares for CCS Championship

    The Palo Alto High School boys’ cross country team warms up during practice at the Paly track. After finishing third

    The Palo Alto High School boys’ cross country team warms up during practice at the Paly track. After securing third place in the Santa Clara Valley Athletic League El Camino division, the team aims to maintain the momentum and continue to excel at the Central Coast Section Championship tomorrow. Photo by Cooper Lou.

    The Palo Alto High School boys’ and girls’ cross country teams will compete at the Central Coast Section Championship tomorrow at the Crystal Springs Cross Country Course, after placing first and third respectively in the Santa Clara Valley Athletic League El Camino division.

    Despite injuries to several key runners including junior Kai Oda, the boys’ team has high hopes for its meet tomorrow, according to junior Spencer Morganfeld.

    “If we run like we did at SCVALs and all the other teams run like they did at SCVALs, then we will make it to finals [State Championships],” Morganfeld said. “We are going to do our very best. The whole team is expected to do well.”

    According to senior team captain Sarah Wang, the girls’ cross country season has been filled with injuries.

    “We’ve lost numerous runners to injuries this season, including three of the four captains,” Wang said. “On top of that, many of our varsity runners are battling some form of chronic injury, usually shin splints. Despite these injuries, many of our underclassmen have stepped up, improving tremendously throughout the season.”

    In spite of these setbacks, several runners are expected to stand out.

    Sophomore Julia Doubson had an amazing season,” senior team captain Portia Barrientos said. “She improved by about a minute on the Crystal Springs course which is really impressive. So she’s really become a breakout star. Our freshman Katia Martha had a really great race at leagues, and I’m looking forward to see her compete at CCS.”

    According to Wang, the girls’ team is aiming to perform its best at CCS.

    “Our chances of making States are pretty slim, so we just want to run our hardest,” Wang said. “For us seniors, we just want to have a good last meet and go out feeling good.”

    Last year, the boys’ team advanced to the State Championships following a second place finish at CCS, while the girls’ team secured in fourth place at CCS.

    The meet will begin at 10 a.m. tomorrow at the Crystal Springs Cross Country Course in Belmont.

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