Boys’ cross country prepares for state championships

Christian Leong, Author

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The Palo Alto High School boys’ cross country team will be competing for the state championship in Fresno on Saturday after a second place finish in the Central Coast Section on Saturday.

Senior Lucas Matison finished first in all of CCS after completing the three-mile route a Toro Park with a time of 15:40 according to, Preptrack. Sophomore Kent Slaney finished in second for Paly and ninth overall with a time of 16:06.

Matison says he is just happy to be competing in the state championships after boys’ cross country was able to rally from behind to finish in second place at CCS.

“I’m really proud of all of them [my teammates],” Matison said “We [the boys’ cross country] were ranked fourth, and only three moved on. And we gave it our all, and that not just made us get third [to qualify for state championships], but second place.”

Coach Kelsey Feely is aware of the team’s anxiousness with the upcoming race and plans to prepare a little differently for this meet.

“We have to remember that they [the boy’s cross country] put in the work, and now it’s just maintaining the level of fitness that they’re at all while, of course, avoiding injury,” Feely said “Therefore, instead of training, we are actually bumping things down slightly.”

The girls’ cross country season will come to a close after placing fourth in CCS, with only the top two teams moving on to the state championships.

After exceeding their projected sixth ranking in CCS, junior Portia Barrientos is looking forward to next season.

“Especially with the results from CCS this year, we [girls’ cross country] are really optimistic,” Barrientos said. “The stronger teams are losing key runners, and if we work really hard over the summer, we could go to the state meet [next season].”