By Kellen Browning,
Davis High cross country runners performed well in eight different races at the 66th Annual Mt. Sac Invitational on Saturday, Oct. 26. The women’s varsity, JV, and sophomore teams all won their races, with men’s JV placing third.
Sophomore Fiona O’Keeffe led the women’s varsity team, taking first place in the Varsity Individual Sweepstakes race with a time of 16:54 for the 2.93 mile course.
Assistant coach Tracy Bennett shared his thoughts on the win. “The highlight [of the day] was Fiona, who ran a course record…she displaced Sarah Baxter, who had the record as a sophomore,” Bennett said.
Other scorers for the women’s varsity team were freshman Sofia Castiglioni, who took ninth, junior Maggie McManis (25th), senior Pooja Tripathi (31st), and junior Giulia McIsaac (32nd).
“I knew she could do it, physically,” McManis said of O’Keeffe’s victory. “It was the mental part that’s tough. She was going against her main competitor Marissa [Williams].” Williams, a junior from Palisades, ended up being out-run by O’Keeffe by 20 seconds.
On the varsity victory as a whole, McManis thought they had a good chance going into the race. “I had a feeling…looking at some of the other teams, [that we could win],” McManis said.
The Mt. Sac Invitational is the largest high school cross country meet in the nation, with over 25 thousand runners in attendance over two days, meaning that the different DHS teams’ races were spaced out throughout the day. The men’s JV runners raced early in the morning, and was the first DHS race of the day.
“When we woke up, it was pitch black,” senior Ani Ramakrishnan said of the experience. “While racing it was nice and cool, and I was happy that I was racing then,” said Ramakrishnan, who won his race in a time of 16:36.
“Ani’s race set the mood for the day, because it was the first race,” Bennett said. He noticed that the weather, which grew noticeably hotter as the day wore on, did affect the races. “[There was] ideal running in the morning…more difficult in the afternoon,” Bennett said. Bennett added, however, that this kind of experience is “pretty typical” of the Mt. Sac races.
Other Blue Devil teams also ran well. The men’s varsity took ninth in the competitive Varsity Sub-Sweepstakes race, led by senior Jasper Laca’s time of 15:51.
The DHS men’s sophomore and women’s freshmen teams each took sixth place, with the latter team being led by Abigail Fisk (third) and Hallie Lassiter (fourth), while Jackson Laird claimed a fifth place finish in the men’s freshmen race.