Although injuries have slowed the Mountain View High cross-country team, don’t expect them to stop the Spartans from turning in another successful season.
“As with most teams early in the season, we’re going through a period of aches and pains with the increased mileage,” coach Jim Bordoni said. “When we get healthy, we’ll be good.”
Mountain View has been good, if not great, in recent years. The Spartan girls have advanced to the state meet five consecutive years and the boys four straight.
While the coach believes both squads have a shot at returning to state, he said the girls are more likely to do so.
“It looks promising on the girls side, though we have some rehab from offseason injuries to deal with and won’t be at full strength for a while,” Bordoni said. “We hope to have all the pieces by CCS.”
The Central Coast Section championships are scheduled Nov. 12 at Crystal Springs in Belmont and the state finals Nov. 26 at Woodward Park in Clovis.
Senior Allison Sturges led the Spartan girls at both meets last year and is again their top runner.
“Allison is not in end-of-season condition yet, but she’s really smart and will gradually build toward it,” Bordoni said. “She has the wisdom of experience.”
Mountain View also returns standouts Maya Weigel and Melissa Reid, a junior and sophomore, respectively. Bordoni said Weigel “always does the work and is a very poised girl.” The coach also expects a big year from Reid once she fully recovers from what he called “a little stress facture.”
The Spartans’ next-best runners include seniors Lisa Lacampagne and Emily Andrew, described by Bordoni as “performing well,” and sophomores Laura Reynolds and Samantha Sevely, who are “stepping up,” the coach said.
Sturges is anxious to see what this group can achieve together.
“We haven’t run the full top seven in a race yet, because of a few injuries, so I’m still not sure of our full potential,” said the defending CCS Division II champion. “But I think we have the chance to have a great season again – as everyone gets stronger.”
Sturges has run in only two of Mountain View’s four meets, excelling in both. She won the Lowell Invitational Sept. 17 with a time of 18 minutes, 8 seconds and finished seventh at the highly competitive Stanford Invitational Sept. 24 by clocking an 18:23.
“I would say that the Stanford Invitational has been my best performance so far,” said Sturges, who went into the race aiming for a top-10 finish. “I was very happy with my performance.”
Collectively, the Spartan girls placed 11th at Stanford. The boys came in sixth, led by senior Aubrey Myjer’s 12th-place time of 16:01 (a personal record).
Myjer’s return – he chose to play water polo last fall – has been a boost to a team that graduated its top two runners from last year’s squad.
“He picked up where he left off and has nothing but upside,” Bordoni said. “He works hard and is a gifted athlete.”
In addition, the coach is counting on returnees Kevin Staatz and Tommy Rutner. Staatz is “a solid senior,” according the coach, and paced Mountain View at the Earlybird Invitational Sept. 10 (16:07). Senior Rutner “is a good team leader and a hard worker,” Bordoni said.
The coach has also been impressed with varsity newcomers David Williams and Nick Crispie, both juniors, and sophomore Sam Moore, whom he called “a pleasant surprise.”
But do the Spartans have what it takes to qualify for state?
“It will be a real challenge – replacing Parker Schuh and Bryan Crook is no easy task,” Bordoni said of the two standouts who graduated. “But we’ve got a few kids who are more than willing to make a go of it.”
Sturgeon likes their chances.
“As for the boys, I knew from the beginning of the season that they were underrated,” she said. “The boys have all gotten stronger and they added Aubrey Myjer back to the team … so we all knew the boys team would quickly move up in the rankings as they started running their full top seven.”
Mountain View is scheduled to run in the Crystal Springs Center Meet 3 p.m. Thursday.