After a six-month delay, the Cross Country season started last Saturday, Feb. 12. Had the season started last August, we would have had all of our league meets at Morley Field on the City Conference course. We would also have scheduled “Cluster Meets” where all schools compete in the same race, with the results sorted out by team matchups.
To comply with COVID restrictions, the Western League Coaches got together and created a schedule of dual meets at various schools, the first being at Cathedral Catholic last Saturday, followed by meets every Saturday throughout the season. Last Saturday, all six schools had a meet with one other school. The schools in the Western League are Coronado, Scripps Ranch, Mira Mesa, Cathedral Catholic, University City, and Point Loma.
Our meet on Saturday was with Mira Mesa. Saturday isn’t the best day of the week for a meet because it competes with club sports and previously planned outings. Still, there was no other option because there are no other places available during the week. The course was set-up on a hilly 2.66-mile circuit around Cathedral Catholic. Several of our better runners couldn’t attend the meet, but we did have our top girl, senior Abby Hundley, who placed second in our race with a time of 17:26. Out of all the races, she had the fifth-best time. Freshman Claire Cook was fourth with 19:45, followed by junior Lily Clemens (eighth). The next two finishers were freshmen, Maya Voltin (ninth) and Caroline Cole (10th). Mira Mesa won the team race 22-33.
Our top boy runner, junior Landon Mullins, sat this one out because of a nagging injury, but senior Micah Arnott came through with a fifth-place finish in 17:23. The rest of our finishers were all freshmen, with Detrik Heidt placing sixth with a time of 18:11, followed by Spencer Williams (seventh), Jack Shumaker (ninth), Baxter Simpson (12th), Jackson Garrett (13th), and Luca Durocher (15th). Mira Mesa won the team race 18-39.
Two days before the Saturday meet, we got word that Morley Field would be open the next week and that we had to have a league meet on Tuesday. This was non-negotiable, so the question was whether to cancel the Saturday meet and switch over to the Tuesday schedule. The coaches voted to keep the Saturday meet so we’ll have two meets with only a couple of recovery days. We should have more runners available for the Tuesday races.
From now on, all of our league meets will be at Morley Field on Tuesdays. If CIF eventually allows us to hold cluster meets, we’ll have a final League Championship with all schools participating as well as CIF finals. We’re keeping our fingers crossed on that one. As it is now, however, we have only dual meets scheduled. All the usual weekend Invitationals were canceled. Our team is smaller than usual this season because participation in more than one CIF sport is not allowed. Cross Country will overlap several other sports this season. The one exception to this rule is for Track and Field. Since Track Practice starts on Feb. 22, the distance runners will be participating in those two sports at the same time.