Saturday, July 13, 2024

Islander Cross Country Team Takes to the Track at Hoka Postal

Back in the day, before we had instant online results, Track and Field News would run a 2-mile Postal competition towards the end of the cross country season. Schools would “post” via snail mail their fastest 2-mile times, and T&F News would compile the results and rank the top teams in the nation. This annual competition ran from the 1960s to the late 1980s.

For the last ten years, the shoe company Hoka has brought that tradition back with today’s technology. Hoka sponsors a series of 2-mile affiliated meets around the country but also accepts club results from events with three or more teams participating. The local affiliated meet was held at University City High School last Saturday, with over 750 runners competing in eighteen 2-mile races, starting with the slower heats at 2:30 and the fastest heat at 8:45. Coaches had submitted estimates of how fast their athletes could run two miles on the track and the races were seeded accordingly. Although not all of our runners ran in the same race, I compiled the results for our runners and submitted them to Hoka for a State and National ranking.

Gwynne Letcher (second from left) and Morgan Maske (left) at the start of their race at Hoka Postal

Our girls’ scoring team (top five) was Morgan Maske, with a time of 12:23, Gwynne Letcher (12:36), Carly DeVore (12:37), Nadia Roos (12:56), and Maesan Everitt (13:20). The pusher was Stefanie Romero. The cumulative times from the top five girls ranks us 30th in California and 92nd nationwide. California is one of the most competitive states. Considering these ranks are not based on division, grade level, or school size, these are pretty good results for four freshmen and one sophomore (Maske).

Our top finisher for the boys was senior Rafael Roos, with a time of 10:20. Sophomore Nathan Ayan had the next best time with a mark of 10:46, followed by Jack Letcher (11:17), Xavier Marsh (11:39), and Tyler Horton (12:07). The other finishers in order were Jack Shumaker, Austin LitteralOscar Alicandri, Carlos Pulido, Philippe Solla, and Oliver Surdykowski.

Start of one of the boys’ races at Hoka. L-R: Philippe Solla, Oscar Alicandri, Austin Litteral, Tyler Horton, Oliver Surdykowski

Our next race will be the league finals on November 2 where all our runners will compete. The CIF championships are on November 11, where only seven boys and seven girls from each team are allowed. Our girls’ team may qualify for the state meet in Fresno on November 25. They must place among the top three teams in our division at the CIF Championships to advance.

George Green
George Green
Head Cross Country and Distance Track Coach, Coronado High School

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