Local girls didn’t rule Saturday’s CIF State Cross Country Championships, but they came pretty close.
Gunn High senior Sarah Robinson and Pinewood School junior Nicole Colonna finished among the top 10 in their respective races, Los Altos High sophomore Lauren Jacob placed 11th and Mountain View High senior Melissa Reed took 22nd.
Robinson – a Los Altos Hills resident – Colonna and Jacob ran the fastest times among runners from the Central Coast Section in their respective divisions.
CCS champ Robinson finished fourth in Division I and seventh overall Saturday at Woodward Park in Fresno. She ran the 3.1-mile course in 17 minutes, 16 seconds. That was the fastest time ever run by a CCS girl at state until San Lorenzo Valley’s Anna Maxwell clocked a 17:08 a few hours later in the Division IV race.
“I think overall I was happy with my performance,” said Robinson, who broke her personal record on the course by 40 seconds. “I think I could have finished stronger, but I am glad I improved my time.”
So did her coach PattiSue Plumer.
“Sarah ran a great race (Saturday),” said Plumer, whose team finished 14th at state. “The DI race was the most competitive race of the day and it went out really fast; the first mile was about a 5:20 pace. She went for it and hung on for a huge PR but didn’t quite have the closing speed she needed after going so fast.”
Robinson’s effort was good enough to earn an invitation to Saturday’s national meet in Portland, Ore., where she is slated to compete against the top high school runners in the country.
Fellow Los Altos Hills resident Colonna came in eighth in the Division V race with a time of 19:17.
“I was happy to place in the top 10 at the state meet,” she said. “I worked hard this year, put in a lot of miles, and finishing eighth against tough competition is fantastic.”
Jacob led the Los Altos girls, who placed 20th as a team in Division II, by finishing under 18 minutes for the first time on a 5-kilometer course. Jacob’s time of 17:52 broke her school record on the course by 24 seconds. It was good enough to take 26th overall.
Mountain View’s Reed finished 40th overall after running the Division I race in 18:08. Teammate Amy Lynch placed 127th overall and 56th in Division I with an 18:44.
Ailing St. Francis High freshman phenom Julia Bounds finished 154th in Division II. Coach Roberta Chisam said Bounds, suffering from bronchitis for more than a week, “had all the intentions to run a strong race, (but) her body was not ready.”
St. Francis placed 16th as a team, paced by sophomore Melissa Seaman (66nd, 19:06). Seaman and the Lancers’ next-best finishers – freshman Emily Skahill (99th, 19:36), and junior Hannah Kim (106th, 19:40) – also ran personal-best times on the course.
The St. Francis boys finished 12th in their division, powered by sophomore Xander Olivero’s 39th-place time of 15:56. Senior Gaurav Begur (16:24) was 80th.
The Los Altos boys placed five spots behind St. Francis in Division II. Sophomore Ben Zaeske led Los Altos, finishing in 16 minutes flat for 42nd place.
This marked Zaeske’s best time on a 5k course, according to coach Dan Oren.
Three other Eagles placed in the top 130: seniors Dane Tippett (99th, 16:36), Konrad Niemiec (128th, 16:51) and Kevin Glass (130th, 16:51).