Record runs by Lauren Soobrian and Adam Sage highlighted a banner day for Los Altos High at the state cross-country championships in Fresno, where the Eagles’ boys team also made school history Nov. 30.
Soobrian finished fourth in the Division I girls race with a time of 17 minutes, 42.7 seconds that made her the fastest freshman girl at the entire meet (five divisions). Her time beat Lauren Jacob’s school record, set in 2013, by nearly 10 seconds. Coach Steph MacKenzie is confident no Los Altos runner has ever placed as high at state as Soobrian did.
“I wanted to get off to a strong start and stay with the front of the pack,” said Soobrian, who won the Central Coast Section Division I crown two weeks earlier. “I was in the top 10 at the beginning and in the top five by the middle of the race, and it felt good to finish strong.”
MacKenzie said Soobrian “had the best race of her season and even managed to exceed our very high expectations of her.”
Her time was 20 seconds better than the last time she ran the 5K course at Woodward Park – Oct. 10 at the Clovis Invitational. Soobrian was also the fastest freshman at that meet and placed 16th in the Championship division that featured many of the same runners she faced at state.
“I wasn’t sure what to expect, because there are a lot of really talented girls, but I wanted to PR,” Soobrian said, referring to setting a personal record at state. “I always want to improve and get better – that’s what drives me.”
Sage – who described Soobrian as “quiet and determined” – proved persistent at state as well. The senior steadily maneuvered his way toward the front to finish 21st in the Division I boys race with a 15:27.2.
“It always goes out really fast compared to what I’m used to,” Sage said of state, which he ran in for the third year. “My goal for the first mile was 4:53, but I went 4:45 and was around 30th. I moved up in the second and third miles and had a good finish.”
His time was just more than 5 seconds faster than the school record set by Owen MacKenzie (the coach’s son) two years ago.
“Owen’s time was a good motivating factor and (breaking it) definitely was a goal going into the race,” said Sage, the CCS Division I runner-up. “This was also my last chance at a good time; I ran a 15:53 last year and it wasn’t what I was hoping for.”
Sage’s effort spearheaded his team’s combined time of 81:05, good enough for 16th place in Division I (out of 21 schools). That time was 30 seconds faster than the record last year’s team set at state.
“The team broke their record for the third year in a row,” Coach MacKenzie said, “which is very exciting because it means we have managed to rebuild and grow stronger every year even though we graduated several key runners.”
Sage was not the lone member of his team to set a PR on the course. Junior Kevin Andrews (15:49.6, 56th place), senior Daniel Ghasemfar (16:32.2, 120th), freshman Boden Sirey (16:35.4, 126th), senior Adam Cohan (16:40.4, 134th ) and junior Hans Holst (16:47.8, 146th) also ran their best races at Woodward Park.
SF girls shine at state; boys take 15th in DII
The St. Francis girls, competing in Division II, placed second to Newbury Park at state.
Junior Isabelle Cairns led the Lancers, finishing 28th with an 18:20.3.
Five other St. Francis runners placed in the top 100: sophomore Christel Elkins (33rd, 18:24.9) and juniors Vanessa Cabello (37th, 18:27.5), Alexandra Cilley (51st, 18:45.6), Alexa Barton (57th, 18:48.6) and Roxane Thomas (66th, 18:53.8).
The St. Francis boys came in 15th in Division II. The Lancers’ top-three finishers were seniors: Juan Pablo Garcia (30th, 15:41.4), Aiden Maddison (56th, 15:59.3) and Benjamin Garver (69th, 16:07.5).