By Annabelle Zhou,
The Davis High cross-country team ran with spirit at the Pacific Tigers Invitational at the Elkhorn Golf Club in Stockton, Calif. on Saturday, Sept. 26.
The regular top seven varsity runners on both the men’s and women’s teams did not run at Pacific Tigers; instead, they traveled to the Stanford Invitational, which gave younger divisions a chance to shine.
With members missing from the usual varsity team roster, openings allowed fast freshmen Sophia Lodigiani, Aniela and Charlotte Mitchell and Lindsey Vernau to run on the varsity team.
“In our varsity girls’ race we had a few girls who’ve never raced three miles before but they stepped up to the challenge and took second place today,” assistant coach Tim Groth said.
The JV and frosh/soph women were the only squads to secure wins, while the frosh/soph men and varsity women both came in second and the JV men were fourth.
The JV women’s top five runners finished within five seconds from each other, and brought last year’s total team time down from 71:43 to 69:00.
Seniors Sarah Sherwin and Scout Taylor, along with junior Willa Moffatt, led the JV women to victory with close times of 13:43, 13:44 and 13:48.
The first gun of the day went off for a 200 meter mascot race, won by Davis High’s El Diablo. Senior Winston Tran ran as Diablo, and then again in the men’s varsity race.
“I really wanted to represent DHS and show our team’s BDP [Blue Devil pride],” Tran said.
Though daunting hills usually loom over cross-country meets, this course was particularly flat and led to fast times. Despite the fast and grassy terrain, however, the sun beat down hard on the tree-less golf course and made it harder to race.
“The heat definitely drained my energy before the race even started,” junior Esther Wang said.
The meet was also very long, spanning from the first event at 9 a.m. to the last race at 1:20 p.m.
Following an annual tradition, DHS athletes proudly displayed school and team spirit by painting each other blue. Blue bandanas, hair dye and glitter also adorned the athletes.
“The spirit helped me relax before the meet,” junior Anna Young said. “It felt like a really bonding experience throughout the team because everyone helped each other get painted up. […] Pacific Tigers is usually one of my favorite meets of the season.”