The boys varsity cross country team will compete at the California Interscholastic Federation state meet after winning the Division 1 section of the Central Coast Section Championships at Crystal Springs in Belmont on Saturday.
This marks the first CCS Championship win for the boys cross country team since 1989, when Paly was a Division 2 school. All seven of the competing boys varsity members will run at the CIF meet on Nov. 27 in Woodward Park, Fresno.
With both Bellarmine and Paly having scores of 49, 6th-place runner senior Kenji Tella served as tiebreaker and clinched Paly’s victory, breaking Bellarmine’s seven-year-long winning streak. Tella said the race was exciting but he was nervous.
“I didn’t feel great in the race,” Tella said. “But I knew that I had to work to catch every single person I could if we wanted to win.”
Senior and team captain JT Bard said he felt especially proud of his team’s accomplishment.
“We’ve been eyeing Bellarmine and the CCS title for the whole season,” Bard said. “It feels amazing to have made it reality, especially since we really worked as a team to do it.”
Though the girls team didn’t win, two of its members, Elizabeth Fetter and Hillary Studdert, placed first and fifth respectively and qualified for states on their own.
Senior and varsity team captain Jimmy Miller saw the trust that each team member had in each other as essential to their win.
“I couldn’t be prouder of the way our team came together today and fought for every spot,” Miller said. “We put our minds to the goal of winning CCS and by having faith in each other, we were able to make it happen today.”