Cross country misses top seven at Capitol Cross Challenge

Juniors Odessa Seng and Amanda Nazario pack run during the women’s varsity 5K. (Photo: M. Spangler)
Juniors Odessa Seng and Amanda Nazario pack run during the women’s varsity 5K. (Photo: M. Spangler)

By Meghan Bobrowsky and Jamie Moddelmog, Staff–

The majority of the Davis High cross country team traveled to Haggin Oaks Golf Complex in Sacramento on Saturday, Oct. 1 to compete against long-time rivals St. Francis and Jesuit at the Capital Cross Challenge, while the top seven men and women varsity runners headed to the Stanford Invitational.

The DHS harriers snatched a first-place win, third-place, seventh-place and tenth-place finish for the various 3.1 and 2.1 mile races.

The varsity men–who were missing top-scorer senior Michael Vernau–held their ground and placed third with 90 points; just 25 points more than first-place winner Armijo. Senior Nicholas Leacox led the pack, finishing in 15th place with a time of 16:51 for 3.1 miles.

“There wasn’t too crowded of a start line or crowded of a race. [So,] I felt a lot more comfortable racing today and relaxed,” Leacox said.

He attributes his race efforts to teammate Jupa Zarate (16:53) who finished two seconds after Leacox in 16th place.

“Near the end of the race, Jupa caught up with me, and we really worked together in that last mile. We passed a lot of people [and] it was a good team effort,” Leacox said.

Juniors James Brunette (17:04), Jamie Moddelmog (17:19) and Gustavo Perez-Zavala placed 20th, 22nd and 27th, respectively, while freshman Zeno Castiglioni (17:37) and junior Evan Belk (17:38) rounded out the top seven for the men.

The varsity women felt the absence of their key runners more heavily and secured seventh place with 221 points– 197 points more than first-place winner St. Francis. Junior Lyla Schoenig was the first Blue Devil to cross the finish line; she ran 20:24 for 3.1 miles and placed 35th.

“I really like running on flat courses because I can stretch out my stride. I think this race went well because I was just excited to finally not be racing on hills,” Schoenig said.

Juniors Odessa Seng (20:44), Claire Deamer (20:47) and Amanda Nazario (20:47) were all close behind and finished in 50th, 54th and 55th place, respectively. Senior Hallie Lassiter (21:58), freshman Lily Byrne (21:47) and junior Anna Sanchirico (21:51) also contributed to the team effort.

Senior Nicholas Leacox leads the men’s varsity team to a third-place victory. (Photo: M. Spangler)
Senior Nicholas Leacox leads the men’s varsity team to a third-place victory. (Photo: M. Spangler)

The men’s combined freshman and sophomore race proved too much to handle for the harriers, and the team took tenth place with 224 points– 170 points more than first-place winner Whitney.

Sophomore Kyle Henricson was Davis’ No. 1 runner in that race and finished in 32nd place with a time of 11:42 for 2.1 miles.

“I just went as fast as I could go. I knew that if I passed as many people as I possibly could, I would maybe lead my team to third place,” Henricson said. “As long as I’m trying to get my team up there, I think that’s the most important part. We all carry each other.”

Sophomore Henry Ziegler (11:48) was six seconds behind Henricson and finished in 41st place. Other team contributors included freshmen Matthew Lloyd (12:34) and Kyle Wittkop (12:17), in addition to sophomores Kyle Tanner (12:29), Adam Tran (12:13) and Tristan Sturm (12:11).

Assistant coach Tim Groth said all athletes raced hard and performed well given the circumstances.

“The frosh/soph races could’ve gone better for us if we had everybody running their age group,” Groth said. “But some frosh/soph runners asked if they could move up to varsity and we are obliged to give them the opportunity to race on a 5K course.”

However, the women’s freshman and sophomore team proved they were unaffected by the loss of top runners by winning their race with 33 points.

Sophomore Hannah Lybbert was first for Davis and second overall with a time of 13:31 for 2.1 miles. She said the cool weather helped her to have a faster race.

“In the last 800 I just kept speeding up a little bit at a time and once we came over the little hill before the finish I saw Selby and I thought I would try to catch her, even though my legs were dead,” Lybbert said.

Freshman Selby Anderson finished close behind Lybbert, sealing third place with a time of 13:31 while her classmates Kylie Seward (13:35) and Shannon Perry (13:48) placed 4th and 7th, respectively. Sophomore Sherlyn Garcia (14:30) and freshmen Mia Di Genova (14:23) and Nellie Cox (14:25) also helped Davis secure the victory.

Next weekend, some harriers will be traveling to Woodward Park in Fresno to compete at the annual Clovis Invitational.

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