Sunday, June 20, 2021

Catching up with the Islander Cross Country Team

Islanders at Woodbridge Classic
Islanders at the Woodbridge Cross Country Classic. From left to right are Allison White, Sofia Van Arsdale, Gio Navarro, Landon Mullins, Aiden Baumann, Cole Hutcherson, Micah Arnott, Cole Mullins, Casey Harris, Dana Jennings, Jessica Ehret, and Anna Youngblood.

It’s been over a month since my last Cross Country report, but we’ve been mostly in a training mode and have run in only a handful of meets. Our last Invitational meets of the season were both run on the same day but with different runners. On September 21st, the bulk of the Cross Country team traveled to the Silver Lakes Sports Complex in Riverside, California to run under the lights in the Woodbridge Classic. Woodbridge is one of the largest High School Cross Country meets in the country, with races starting about every twenty minutes from 5:00 PM to 10:00 PM on Friday and from 4:00 PM to 10:00 PM on Saturday. With around 200 runners per race, that’s quite a spectacle. As the meet goes on, the races get faster and faster. We took both a boys’ and a girls’ team that ran at 7:30 PM and 8:18 PM respectively. On Saturday morning a few of our kids ran locally at the Mt. Carmel Invitational held at Morley Field.

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Cole Mullins at Woodbridge
Cole Mullins runs under the lights at the Woodbridge Classic

Casey Harris, left, and Landon Mullins at the Woodbridge Cross Country Classic

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Our best boys’ performance of the day came from senior Cole Mullins’ race at Woodbridge, where he covered the flat grassy three-mile course in 15 minutes and 48 seconds. Next over the line was his brother, Landon, who clocked 16:39. Casey Harris wasn’t far back with a time of 16:43 followed by Gio Navarro (17:35), Aiden Baumann (17:39), and Cole Hutcherson at 18:44. We had a seventh runner who finished last (I won’t mention his time) who supplied a bit of comic relief. Micha Arnott was standing at the starting line, which is in the middle of one of the soccer fields, when he noticed that he was wearing Abby Hundley’s bib and chip. Abby ran in the Mt. Carmel meet that morning, so there was an extra bib that he assumed was his. With all eyes on the pending start, he sprinted off the field to our canopy that was over a hundred yards away, where he pinned on the correct bib (by then the race had started), then jumped a fence on to the soccer field and followed the rest of the runners around the course.

The best girls’ performance of the night was by junior Sofia Van Arsdale’s fifth-place finish in 18:19 over the same course that the boys ran. Freshman Dana Jennings was next for us with a time of 19:18 followed by Jessica Ehret with a time of 19:35 and Anna Youngblood who ran 21:34. Our fifth finisher was Allison White who rolled her ankle midway through the race, then limped the rest of the way to finish in 22:25. Cross Country runners are tough.

Speaking of Abby Hundley, although she developed a cold the night before, she ran the D-II invite race at Mt. Carmel and covered the hilly 2.75-mile course in 18 minutes flat. Our only other girl at Mt. Carmel was Ryan Brophy who ran in the Soph race with a time of 22:45.  Three boys ran at Mt. Carmel with Will Leonard turning in the best time of the day with 20:31 over the even more hilly 2.95-mile boys’ course followed by Nolan Reuter with 20:34 and Conor Youngblood who ran 21:19.

More recently, the boys’ and girls’ cross country teams participated in their first league meet of the season last on October 10th. The event was a cluster meet with the Western League schools at Morley Field.

Varsity Girls Race
The Varsity Girls start: Visible from left to right are Abby Hundley, Jessica Ehret, Sofia Van Arsdale, Allison White.

Sofia Van Arsdale
Sofia Van Arsdale at the first league Cluster

The varsity girls team finished in third place with 70 points behind Cathedral Catholic with 23 points and Scripps Ranch with 63 points. A seven-point finish behind a Division 1 school with 44 girls on its roster is not too shabby. La Jolla, University City, and Serra were the other teams in the race. Leading the charge for the Islanders was Sofia

Abby Hundley
Abby Hundley at the first league cluster

Van Arsdale, who finished in third place with a Personal Record of 19:26 over the 3.11 mile City Conference boys and girls varsity course. Abby Hundley placed ninth, followed by freshman Dana Jennings, Jessica Ehret, freshman Anna Youngblood, and Allison White.

Boys start at league cluster
Boys start at the first Western League Cluster. Visible from left to right are: Landon Mullins, Casey Harris, Cole Mullins, Aiden Baumann, Gio Navarro, Will Leonard, and Cole Hutcherson.

Cole Mullins led the charge for the boys with a time of 16:35, followed by Landon Mullins (17:15), Casey Harris (17:25), Aiden Baumann (18:36), Cole Hutcherson (18:39), Gio Navarro (18:49), Micah Arnott, Will Leonard, and Nolan Reuter. Team-Wise they finished fourth only 3 points behind University City. Cathedral Catholic and Scripps Ranch were the top two teams. Again, this was a strong finish against larger teams in higher divisions. Coronado is the only D-4 school in the Western league. It’s encouraging that the times for the Mullins brothers, Harris, Baumann, Navarro, and Arnott were personal records for the distance at mid-season.



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George Green
Cross Country and Track Coach, Coronado High School
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