Mud, sweat, and tears mixed together Saturday Nov. 20 at the NCS girls’ varsity cross country race at Hayward High School. The dynamic Castro Valley girls placed fourth in the division one race, which unfortunately didn’t qualify them to advance as a team to the state meet.
Although the team as a whole did not advance to state, senior Kelsey Santisteban took first, to clench the title of NCS champion for the first time in her career and guarantee herself a spot in the state race. Her time was 18:00 minutes, which is a six minute mile pace on this three mile course.
“I felt happy because I’ve worked hard for this all season,” said Santisteban
The next weekend at the state meet in Fresno, Santisteban placed fifth in the division one race with a time of 17:30. Compared to her finish last year in 31st place, Santisteban has really pushed herself this season. Overall, Santisteban had the seventh fastest time of the day in all the girls races.
“I’m proud of her. She worked hard for it,” explained head coach Dooney Jones, “We did well this season, we have a great team and the girls work hard together.”
Although the other six girls that make up the varsity team didn’t continue on to state, they still ran a hard and good race. Sam Fong came in 28th overall, and second for the team with a time of 19:59. Close on Fong’s heels was Gabrielle White with a time of 20:03. Aurora Bailey scored fourth for the team with a time of 20:15. Freshman Nicole Anthony took 38th in the race overall, with a speedy time of 20:26. Amanda Zen placed 56th in the race with a time of 21:32. Running seventh for the team was senior Carolyn Gilchriese who ran for a time of 22:07.
“It took us awhile to be able to finally work together as a team, but towards the end I feel like we came together to accomplish what we needed to,” commented Bailey on the team’s overall season performance.
Most girls will be continuing on to run track for another great season.
A wet, windy day did not stop cross country star Ben Eversole from running his way to the state meet. Cross country runners from different high schools ran at the North Coast Section cross country championship.
Runners for Castro Valley included Eversole, Anthony Martore, Eshed and Arad Margalit, Matt Eva, Sulayman Diomande, Erich Coulter, Eric Chan and Juan Berman.
Finishing sixth, Eversole was the team’s only qualifier with a time of 16:20.
“It was not my best race but I’m still going to Portland for Nike Nationals,” said Eversole.
As the season came to an end, the coach was very proud of his team.
“The highlight of the season was the way my team ran. It was a good season because the young kids are grabbing hold, and moving forward. We are competing and building at the same time,” said coach Dooney Jones.