The annual Morro Bay Cross Country Invitational is not your everyday run around an oval track or through a winding well-trod trail. It’s a “grueling race,” according to coach Ayen Johnson, who shares coaching duties Wade Lawrence, because the athletes have to slog through sand for a significant portion of the race.
Still, notwithstanding the sand-related challenges in Morro Bay on Saturday, Sept. 9, Coast Union’s top three males, Paul Butterfield, David Amodei and Colby Ratzat, showed well in a field of 300 runners from nearly 40 California high schools.
Senior Butterfield came in 91st with a time of 18 minutes, 36.89 seconds in the junior-senior division; sophomore Amodei placed 63rd (18:45.39) in the freshman-sophomore category; and junior Ratzat came in 192nd (20:51.52) for Coast.
Senior David Nolan ended up 241st (23:23.45); junior Cesar Hernandez finished 242nd (23:26:77); senior Alam Romo was 255th (25:47.92); and junior David May came in 256th (26:18:92). Sophomore Eder Ramirez placed 266th (23:15.39) in the freshman-sophomore category; and freshman Axel Becerril placed 268th (23:22.67).
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In the girls race, junior Isabella Raethke was the top Coast Union female in the junior-senior category; she came in 44th (22:28.67); senior Karina Lopez came in 138th (26:49.67), and junior Vanessa Ramirez placed 159th (28:34.36) in that upper level category.
In the freshman-sophomore grouping, freshman Crystal Fabela was 155th (27:45.89); freshman runner Michelle Acosta was 162nd (28:31.89); sophomore Emma Sison came in 180th (30:32.02); and sophomore Angelina Perez finished 193rd (59:59.04) for Coast Union.
Lawrence and Johnson reported they were proud of the effort the team put forward. The first home dual meet will be held Sept. 20 against Santa Maria at 3:30 p.m.
“Coach Lawrence and I encourage the entire community to come out and cheer on the cross country team,” Johnson in an email interview.
He added, tongue in cheek: “Seats are still available but filling up fast.”