Cross country looks to build off momentum

The Palo Alto High School boys’ and girls’ cross country teams continue to have high hopes for the remainder of the season despite mediocre performances in recent meets.

Girls’ coach Paul Jones has not been unhappy with the results.  A few members of the girls’ team have been nursing injuries, including senior team captain Audrey DeBruine.  However, Jones expects all injured runners to be ready for Santa Clara Valley Athletic League (SCVAL) finals.

“We have a couple of injuries going, including Audrey DeBruine and Sarah Wang right now,” Jones said.  “They’re getting better from [their injuries].”

Both teams struggled at the second SCVAL meet on Sept. 24.  The boys’ varsity placed 12th out of 14 teams, with freshman Kai Oda finishing first for the team.  He placed 47th out of 97 runners and was followed by sophomore Griffin Carlson, who placed 57th overall.

The girls’ varsity also finished 12th out of 14 teams.  Freshmen Natalie Maloney and Lauola Amanoni were among Paly’s top finishers, placing 56th and 58th respectively at their latest SCAVL meet.

The boys’ and girls’ varsity teams also attended the Stanford Invitational, a 5K race at the Stanford Golf Course on Sept. 28.  The boys’ varsity finished 121st out of 185 teams and were led by junior Lucas Matison, who placed 187th overall out of 1,350 runners.  Matslon was followed by freshman Kent Slaney, who placed 362nd overall.

The girls’ varsity fared better than the boys with a 65th place finish.  Sophomore Bryn Carlson was the first Paly runner to cross the finish line, placing 134th overall. Junior Katie Foug was next with a 238th place finish.

Both teams showed signs of improvement at the Artichoke Invitational on Oct. 5 at Half Moon Bay High School.  The boys’ varsity finished 10th out of 23 teams, with freshman Kent Slaney leading all Paly runners. Slaney placed tenth out of 159 runners.  Junior Aaron Chandler was the next male runner to finish, placing 60th.

The girls’ varsity placed sixth out of 19 teams.  The girls were led again by sophomore Bryn Carlson, who placed fourth out of 130 runners.

“The kids that ran have run well, so it’s a matter of getting the injuries cleaned up,” Jones said.