Photo By: photo courtesy of Andy Cohen )
Los Altos High boys, from left, Ben Zaeske, Konrad Niemiec, Josh Cohen, Terence Rabuzzi and Alex Carr (back right) take off at the state meet. The boys finished ninth in Division II.
Local runners turned their miles into milestones Saturday at the CIF California State Cross Country Championships in Fresno.
Several participants from Los Altos and Mountain View highs set personal records on the 5K Woodward Park course, and the Eagles made school history as well. The Los Altos boys placed ninth and the girls 18th in Division II – the highest-ever finishes by their respective teams.
“Both teams can confidently say that they are the best boys and girls teams in school history,” Eagles coach Dan Oren said.
The Los Altos boys’ top-five finishers posted an average time of 16 minutes, 22.4 seconds. Terence Rabuzzi paced the Eagles with a 16th-place 15:46.2, which marks the first time the junior has run a 5K in under 16 minutes.
“Terence was also the fourth finisher in the Division II race that was not a senior, so next year is looking very bright for him,” Oren said.
The Los Altos boys had three other runners place among the top 100: senior Josh Cohen (45th, 16:13.5); senior Alex Carr (54th, 16:16.4) and freshman Ben Zaeske (84th, 16:32.7).
For the girls, the Eagles’ top-five finishers averaged 20:18.8. Freshman Lauren Jacob led the way with an 18:30.1, a personal record for a 5K course. She placed 18th in her division.
“The starting mile was much quicker than a usual race – probably 20 seconds faster than I normally run,” Jacob said. “I was kind of shocked when I rounded the bend to see the mile marker and the time the clock was showing. After that, I just tried to stay with packs of runners, and then break off to a group ahead.”
A pair of seniors posted Los Altos’ next-best times: Claire Bowie (20:12.6, 117th place) and Louise Stephan (20:12.6, 125th).
Of the 14 Eagles who competed at state – boy and girls – 11 ran their fastest times for a 5K.
“Everyone went out and ran as hard as they could,” Jacob said. “Coach Dan Oren stressed the importance of ending the season on a high note, so we all ran with that mindset ingrained in our heads.”
The Mountain View girls “were brilliant,” coach Ken Wilner said, placing 15th in Division II. Four of the Spartans’ top-five finishers achieved personal-best times.
Senior Maya Weigel paced Mountain View with a 17th-place time of 18:26. Two juniors followed – Melissa Reed (54th, 19:14) and Laura Reynolds (99th, 19:54) – then sophomore Amy Lynch (151st, 21:04) and freshman Campbelle Howland (173rd, 22:30).
“They competed hard and left everything on the course,” Wilner said of his squad. “A coach couldn’t ask for a better effort.”