Boys Cross Country races towards 2016 seasons with high hopes, new coach

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Photo: Santa Cruz Sentinel

Cougar Cross Country had its first meet on September 3rd. The boys team had 18 people racing at San Benito High School at the Second Annual SBHS Dry River Run (6 Freshman, 4 Sophomores, 3 Juniors, and 5 Seniors). For the Freshman there was one person that placed in the top 5, two in the Sophomore race, and one placed in the top 5 for the Seniors.  “Saturday went really well,” said Chris Anderson when asked about Saturday. “We had a lot of top 10 finishers.”

The Cougars Cross Country program got a new coach this year named Jay Avenmarg. The former Cougar Cross Country coach, who shaped the cross country program here at SLV for years, retired at the end of last season. It is a big change for the team considering many of them had been working with former coach Rob Collins for many years. So how do the runners feel about their new coach? Anderson said, “We love our new coach. He has a really good training style which is very similar to Rob’s. Just a bit more mileage I guess you could say.” At least he likes the new coach, and based off of Saturday’s results it seems that it has not hurt many of the Cougar boys very much.

For the Cougar Freshman, Brendan Fitzgerald lead the pack and got 4th out of 98 kids in the race with a time of 11:33.45 with Skylar Berggren being the next Cougar to finish in 25th place with a time of 12:31.95. Jeremy Slavich finished 42nd with a time of 13:02.27 and a little over a minute later finished Tristan Fabiunke in 66th place with a time of 14:24.01. Matt Cornelison, racing in his first ever cross country race, finished 67th right behind Fabiunke with a time of 14:39.53. The last person to finish for the Cougars was Liam Fitzgerald finishing 88th with a time of 17:19.96.

After Chris Anderson’s impressive first place performance for the Sophomores, the Cougars had Ross MacMillan finishing 3rd out of 94 kids with a time of 10:34.29. The next Cougar sophomore was Rodrigo Navarro finishing 71st with a time of 13:52.93 and the 4th and final Cougar to finish was Gunnar Phillips coming in 73rd at 13:58.47.  

In the Junior group for the San Lorenzo Valley Cougars with only 3 competitors, Craig Yeomans finished 11th in the Junior race at 11:21.52 leading SLV. 12 minutes and three seconds after the start of the race, Kyle Nichols finished 25th overall for the Cougars and then Sampson Miller finished 58th out of 64 with a time of 15:45.19.

The Senior Cougars were lead by Ian Gallagher, and together they got first place out of 19 schools competing in the Senior race. Gallagher finished 5th with a time of 10:42.44, and close behind him was Bobby Muñoz who finished 6th, exactly four seconds behind Ian Gallagher. Kevin Clark finished one second later at 10:47.63. Anthony Campbell finished in 12:27.29 putting him just before Tyler Van Winkle who finished in 33rd place and was the final Cougar boy to finish at 12:33.42.

By Seamus McMillan

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