Varsity cross country powers through MCALs, NCS and State Meets

Varsity+cross+country+powers+through+MCALs%2C+NCS+and+State+Meets

Keely Jenkins

Both the girls’ and boys’ varsity cross country team ran at the California Interscholastic Federation State Cross Country Championships on Saturday, Nov. 28. It was a race for which six months of training had been dedicated, and for the first time in four years both the of the varsity teams, not just individuals, qualified for the state meet.

“It’s a really big deal for a program to have both squads qualify for state,” said Laura Schmitt, the head coach of cross country.

Their success was evident in MCALs, where the girls’ varsity team placed first and the boys’ varsity team finished in second by a margin of three points.

“Going into it after we had won the regular season, we were definitely hoping to win and we knew exactly who our biggest competitors would be,” said senior co-captain Campbell Nolan. “It was really close, 40 to 43, and we all gave it our best effort and really went out there and it just didn’t work out in the end.”

Despite coming in second, the boys’ team still went on to compete in the North Coast Sectionals (NCS), where they again placed second. In the individual standings, Redwood runners held the first and second place. Andy Ehrenberg, senior team captain, finished first, followed by freshman Liam Anderson.

“He didn’t even realize that he got second. He thought more guys had been up with Andy, and when he crossed the finish line Andy was like ‘you got second!’” said senior team co-captain Rachel Bordes. “Laura always says it’s not the freshman’s role to lead a team and get a team to state, but he 100 percent led that team and got that team to where they are.”

Anderson ran the fastest time ever for a freshman boy in Marin County during the state meet. Additionally, he ran the 13th fastest time for a freshman in the entire state, according to Schmitt.

The girls’ team also placed second at NCS. Junior Glennis Murphy nabbed second place, while Rachel Bordes placed eighth, only a minute behind.

“We push each other hard. That’s what’s great about having some of the best teammates in the state—we can be friends but we’re also competitive with each other—and I think that’s what makes us so good,” Bordes said.

The goal of the girls’ team was to be on the podium at State because last year it finished in sixth, according to Bordes. This season it placed fifth.

“You set your goals…but you also reach a little bit, and you don’t base your joy for the season on one meet,” Schmitt said. “And it was a phenomenal meet. They ran the fastest time in Marin County, as did the boys in the history of Marin County. No one’s upset.”