Despite the absence of their top runner, the Los Altos High girls placed first at Saturday’s season-opening cross-country meet, while the shorthanded boys squad came in fourth among the 13 Santa Clara Valley Athletic League schools participating.
Hosted by the Eagles, the meet was divided into six races for safety reasons; both Los Altos teams ran head-to-head against rival Mountain View.
“Our teams were really well matched, so it was a close race on both the boys’ and girls’ sides with a few lead changes throughout,” Eagles coach Steph MacKenzie said.
The Los Altos girls beat Mountain View by three points in their race and won the meet by the same margin. Junior Riley Capuano led the Eagles, completing the 2.1-mile course in 12 minutes, 46 seconds to finish fourth among all teams. She seized the lead just after the 1.25-mile mark, according to MacKenzie.
Teammate Fiona Bodkin, a sophomore, took sixth overall (12:58). Two other Los Altos runners placed in the top 20: freshman Maddy Randall (13th, 13:24) and junior Sasha Anderson (18th, 13:38).
Lauren Soobrian, who qualified for state as a freshman last season, missed the meet due to a family trip, MacKenzie said.
Sophomore Katherine Stone paced runner-up Mountain View with an eighth-place time of 13:06.
The Los Altos boys “were missing a few key scorers,” according to MacKenzie, yet still edged Mountain View by two points. The injuries took a greater toll on the Eagles when all the team scores were merged, however, putting the Eagles at fourth overall – two spots behind the Spartans (Palo Alto placed first).
Los Altos senior Hans Holst – running with a cast on his left arm (broken wrist) – pulled ahead with 300 meters left, the coach said, and won the race in 10:48. That time was good enough for fourth overall. Twin brother Niels Holst was the other Eagle to finish in the top 20 overall, clocking an 11:26 for 19th place.
Junior Nicholas Trepanier led the Spartans by placing fifth overall (10:54), and senior Ethan Stone came in seventh (10:59).
After a nearly six-month delay, the Mountain View girls “were very excited to be playing” their season opener last week, coach Frank Smyth said.
The host Spartans dispatched Cupertino 5-2 Feb. 17, with three of their wins coming in singles and the other two in doubles.
Mountain View’s singles victories all came in straight sets: Stephanie Hsu won 6-2, 6-0 at No. 2; Glenda Boeker prevailed 6-0, 6-2 at No. 3; and Emily Meng triumphed 6-0, 6-2 at No. 4.
In doubles, the Spartans’ top team of Mandy Lai and Olivia Lai eked out a 4-6, 6-3, 10-6 victory, and the No. 3 duo of Sasha Sokoloff and Paulina Vvedenskaya won 7-6 (2) 7-5.