Cross country to run in CCS Championship

Liana Pickrell, Author

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Junior Sam Desre, sophomores Kent Slaney and Naveen Pai, and senior Lucas Matison run on the 2.95 mile trail at Crystal Springs on Nov. 5. The Palo Alto High School boys' varsity team came in first. Photo courtesy of Malcom Slaney.

Junior Sam Desre, sophomores Kent Slaney and Naveen Pai and senior Lucas Matison run on the 2.95 mile trail at Crystal Springs on Nov. 5. The Palo Alto High School boys’ varsity team came in first. Photo courtesy of Malcom Slaney.

The Palo Alto High School boys’ cross country team will compete at the Central Coast Section Championship after finishing first in the Santa Clara Valley Athletic League El Camino division championship on Nov 5.

Senior Lucas Matison led the boys by individually finishing in first place in the league championship at 2.95 mile Crystal Springs with a time of 15:31, according to calpreptrack.com. Sophomore Kent Slaney came in sixth with a time of 16:19.

Matison thinks the season has gone well, despite injuries, and hopes the team will be able to make it to the state championship.

“Some of the Paly boys have had a couple rough patches dealing with injuries this season, but today we had everyone out there strong and healthy,” Matison said. “From how we performed today, I think we will do quite well at CCS. I’m hoping that we can qualify to go to state as a team.”

Sophomore Naveen Pai is also confident for the CCS championship.

“CCS is an ever bigger race [than the league championship] and a fun course,” Pai said. “I’m confident that we’ll be able to perform to the best of our ability. My focus going forward is to prepare for an all-out race, and I want to give my team the best possible chance of advancing to States.”

The Junior Varsity boys’ team also had a strong performance at the meet and placed first in the championship as well. Freshman Sam Craig, freshman Reed Foster and sophomore Ben Beaudry, respectively, finished first, second and third.

The girls’ cross country team placed third overall, the same as last year, with junior Bryn Carlson placing sixth. Although the girls’ team probably will not make it to CCS, individual runners may be able to compete, according to senior Kylie Wilson.

“[I’m] not sure if they will [go to CCS] this year [as a team], but individuals will probably qualify to move on,” Wilson said.

The meet will start at 11 a.m. on Nov. 15 at Toro Park in Salinas.