Because of COVID restrictions, the last time the Islander Cross Country team participated in an Invitational meet was nearly two years ago, in October 2019. Most of the team from that season have graduated. Except for a few upperclassmen, we’re starting over with a group of sophomores from last season and some promising new freshmen. We entered a bakers’ dozen runners in the Raven Invite last Saturday held at Canyon Crest Academy. All races were at a distance of 1.5 miles over a fairly flat course. Our top two finishers for the boys and girls were seniors, with each placing sixth in the Junior/Senior races. Conor Youngbloods’ time was 8:13 for the boys, with Lily Clemens clocking 9:41 for the girls. Following Lily in the girls Jr/Sr race were juniors Anna Youngblood and Dana Jennings, who both ran 10:17. Sophomore Detrik Heidt had the best place finish with a second-place time of 8:31 in the boys’ Frosh/Soph race, only 3 seconds behind the winner. In that race, Jack Shumaker ran 9:15 followed by Baxter Simpson (9:19), Luca Durocher (9:32), Rafael Roos (9:45) and Noah Dizon. In her first-ever Cross Country race, freshman Eva Vinegrad, placed seventh out of 111 finishers in the girls’ frosh/soph race with a time of 9:58. Fellow freshman, Sierra Grella, wasn’t far back with a time of 10:28 for 17th. Caroline Cole was our third finisher.
The Cross Country league season starts late, with the early part of the season dedicated to Invitational events. We won’t have our first league cluster until October 6th. Before that, there are three more Invites we’ll attend. We’ll take about a dozen runners to the Tim Latham/Ian Cummings invite at Rohr Park this Friday. On September 18th, we’ll compete in the Mt. Carmel Invite on the Footlocker National Championship course at Morley Field. Our last pre-league meet will be the Coach Downey Classic on September 24th at Morley Field.