Photo By: Andy Cohen/Special to the Town Crier
Los Altos High freshman Lauren Jacob finished second in the CCS Division II girls race Saturday with a record time of 1749.
The Los Altos High cross-country team took Toro Park by the horns Saturday at the Central Coast Section championships.
Not only was Los Altos the lone school to place its boys and girls among the top three in Division II, the Eagles had the second-fastest runner in each race. Paced by runners-up Terence Rabuzzi and Lauren Jacob, respectively, the Los Altos boys won their division for the first time and the girls took third to also qualify for next week’s state meet.
“I think (Saturday) had to have been the best day ever for Los Altos cross-country in Los Altos’ entire school history,” coach Dan Oren said. “Everybody ran unbelievably. Everybody put everything on the line, and it showed as both the boys and girls teams achieved unbelievable accomplishments.”
Starting with Jacob, who set a freshman girls record on the 3-mile course in Salinas. She finished the race in 17 minutes, 49 seconds – breaking the old record by two seconds – and was just three seconds behind winner Danielle Katz. Only five runners of any grade have run the course faster than Jacob.
“I am extremely happy about my performance as well as the team’s at CCS championships,” Jacob said. “I was feeling great for the first 1.5 miles, maintaining a quick but comfortable pace. The big hill at about 1.75 miles was pretty tough and my legs were definitely feeling the burn, but I knew that the race would be painful, so I was prepared.”
Jacob broke from the trio of runners trailing Los Gatos senior Katz and made her move toward the front.
“I couldn’t quite catch her at the end, but I knew that second place as a freshman was still amazing,” Jacob said.
Mountain View senior Maya Weigel came in third (18:02), helping the Spartans finish second in the division to make state for the eighth consecutive year. Junior Melissa Reed (18:41) placed sixth for Mountain View.
The Los Altos girls are headed to state – scheduled Nov. 24 in Fresno – for only the second time. Senior Claire Bowie had the Eagles’ second-best time (19:47, 17th place) at CCS, followed by senior Louise Stephan (20:04, 25th).
Los Altos junior Rabuzzi ran a 15:47 for the boys, finishing 26 seconds behind winner Richard Ho of Leland. Three other Eagles placed among the top 15: freshman Ben Zaeske (seventh, 15:56), senior Josh Cohen (ninth, 16:03) and senior Alex Carr (13th, 16:12). Zaeske’s time was just a second shy of the freshman boys course record.
The Mountain View boys won’t return to state this year, finishing eighth at CCS. Senior Nick Van Osdel led the Spartans (16:34, 2lst).