The Coast Union cross country team lost a close race Wednesday (Oct. 9) at home to rival Mission College Prep, but Bronco runner Jez Lawson came in first overall in the 2.6-mile event.
The Broncos lost 32-25 (low score wins), but Coach Jim Hurley said, “It was great to see Jez was the overall winner. We lost by a few points, but overall we were very pleased.”
Lawson’s event-winning time was 14:10; Auggie Johnson placed third (14:46) and Nick Roper came in seventh (16:02). Jose Ramirez placed 10th (16:20), and Zander Stoothoff placed 11th (16:33).
In the girls varsity group, Gigi Stoothoff placed eighth with a time of 18:14. Hurley said Stoothoff “took a wrong turn” and should have come in fourth. Stoothoff is also out for volleyball and hadn’t seen the home course, hence the wrong turn.
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Fabby Gonzales ran the 2.6-mile course in 25:52, coming in 12th; and Tara Covell placed 13th with a time of 26:25.
Hurley was asked what kind of student athlete decides to run cross country, and he explained that some individuals don’t like team sports and others just want to increase their endurance.
“Some students are fast but don’t have endurance, and others have the endurance factor but they want to improve their speed,” he said.
Cross country runners are vulnerable to a variety of injuries. Hurley said shin splints — “an irritation of the muscles that run below your knees on your shin bone” — bad knees and stretched tendons are fairly common runner’s injuries. This fall has been kind to the Broncos thus far in that department. “We don’t have anyone injured so far this season — knock on wood,” Hurley said.
Asked about the motivation for a cross country competitor, Hurley said, “A lot of these kids feel physically better if they get out and run five miles. They like to race each other, and I think they have fun with it.”
Also, for successful high school runners, they often make it “a lifelong sport,” said the coach, a runner his whole adult life.