Cross country teams stumble at CCS finals

Julia Asin, Author

Both the Palo Alto High School boys’ and girls’ cross country teams are recovering from injuries after a disappointing turn at the Central Coast Section Division I finals on Saturday.

The girls’ cross country team, and after placing five points shy of qualifying for states in second place last year, failed to qualify this year, placing ninth at finals.

Junior runner Ariana Tindall attributes the team’s shortcomings to the injuries and illnesses that plagued the team all season.

“I think we all expected to have a good season because a lot of the freshmen from last year got a lot better, however there were a lot of injuries,” Tindall said. “The injuries were definitely the worst out of everything.”

Nearly every single member of the girl’s varsity team was either injured or sick at some point near the time of the race. Sophomore captain Bryn Carlson was recovering from whooping cough at the time of the finals, and senior Audrey DeBruine was recovering from an injury the majority of the season.

The boys’ team looked like it was going to improve its standings from last year, and qualified for CCS for the first time in recent years, but ended up placing in ninth as well.

Sophomore runner Griffin Carlson noted the team’s high hopes going into the season.

“We had recently acquired new runner Lucas Matison and he had gotten fifth in CCS last year and he’s just a junior this year,” Carlson said, “We also had freshman Kent Slaney who’s gone to the Junior Olympics and is extremely fast.”

However, in a parallel manner to the girls’ team, the boys were also plagued by injuries going into CCS.

“The week before CCS, Lucas got into a bike accident and couldn’t race,” Carlson said. “Kent had developed severe back problems by the end of the season so we weren’t able to perform as expected.”

Both the boys’ and girls’ teams are ready to move past this season, and have high hopes for next year.

“I think we hope to do a lot better,” Tindall said, “and I think we hope people don’t get shin splints or sprained ankles anymore because that was the biggest detriment  to the team this season.”

Carlson said,“We expect to do extremely well next year. Not only will our runners who weren’t able to run at CCS be healed but we also won’t be losing anyone so you can just expect for us to get faster.”