The Coronado girls cross country team advance to the state meet after a strong showing at the CIF Cross Country Championships held at Morley Field on Nov. 11.
The Islanders now head to Fresno for the Nov. 25 race.
“We have a young team with our top scorer, sophomore Morgan Maske, followed by three freshmen, Carly DeVore, Gwynne Letcher, and Maesan Everitt,” said Coach George Green. “Our fifth finisher was junior Jaya Jost, with freshman Nadia Roos and senior Natalia Amkie the pushers.”
Along with qualifying for the state meet, Maske made the All-CIF D4 team, with DeVore and Letcher on the All-CIF D4 second team.
La Jolla top team
There were runners from 19 teams in the race, but only five were considered strong enough to contend for a state berth in the D4 division, Green said.
He noted that the division’s top team was La Jolla, with one of the country’s best high school female runners, Chiara Dailey.
Dailey, just a sophomore, was a Footlocker All-American last season and posted
the best girls’ time of the day by over 80 seconds, he said.
Green said La Jolla dominated the race, scoring 18 points, while Classical Academy came in second with 73 points.
That left the final state meet slot up for grabs among Coronado, Valley Center, and Imperial.
The race was very close through the first four finishers, with Maske, DeVore, and
Letcher performing better than expected by finishing seventh, 12th, and
14th respectively, Green said.
That made the score through the top four finishers with a tie, with each team scoring 64 points.
The next finisher from either team would break the tie. That honor went to Jost, who finished one place behind Maske in 32nd place to round out Coronado’s scoring with 96 points, Green said.
Valley Center’s fifth finisher came in 51st for a total of 112 points.
Green noted that if either of Coronado’s pushers were “our fifth finisher, we still would have advanced as they finished 35th and 38th.”
Future bright for girls team
In cross country, a team’s score is the sum of its first five finishers.
There are seven runners on a team, with the sixth and seventh called pushers, because they can push back the score of other teams in the race by finishing in front of their fifth
He added that Imperial had a better pack than Valley Center, but they had no frontrunners to keep their score low. Still, they finished only one point back with 113.
Green added that “prospects look pretty good for the future, as our scoring team will all be back next season.”
Further, La Jolla will lose two seniors but still be strong, and Classical Academy will lose three of their top five to graduation.
Nathan Ayan top boys finisher
Coronado’s top boy finisher was sophomore Nathan Ayan, who clocked 17:56 over the hilly 2.96-mile CIF course to place 31st, Green said.
The team’s second finisher was junior Jack Letcher, with a time of 18:21, a 2:20 improvement over his 2022 time on the same course.
Third for Coronado was senior Rafael Roos, who had been Coronado’s top finisher all season. Freshman Xavier Marsh was the fourth finisher at 19:38, followed by freshman Tyler Horton, junior Austin Litteral, and senior Jack Shumaker.