Thursday, February 25, 2021

Cross country returns

The Colusa and Sutter varsity boys cross country teams break through a banner prior to the start of their race on Wednesday, Feb. 3, at the State Park in Colusa.

After a nearly 11 month hiatus, the county’s first high school athletic competition of 2021 was held on Feb. 3, when the Colusa RedHawks hosted the Sutter Huskies in a dual cross country meet at the Colusa-Sacramento River Recreation Area.

Without question it was a meet like no other, as the RedHawk cheer squad lined the start and finish areas and the varsity boys from both teams burst through a banner prior to the start of their race. But perhaps the greatest significance was the palpable joyfulness exhibited by both the athletes and spectators in attendance.

Colusa senior Jose Valdez summed up the excitement of finally being able to run in something other than practice by saying, “ It feels great to be back out on the course again. I was definitely nervous since there hasn’t been much of anything close to sports related going on.  I just hope that everyone can stay COVID free so we are able to continue to do sports.”

Valdez’s coach Matt Giffin echoed the sentiment about having the opportunity to compete again, “We are, of course, extremely proud of our athletes who have navigated the pitfalls of the pandemic.  They have overcome uncertainty with no guarantee of even having a season.  Yet these runners have persevered. It is rewarding to see their resilience and dedication.”

Although held on the RedHawks’ home course, it was the first time this year they had run it and, in the end, the Huskies dominated both varsity divisions while the Colusa prevailed in the JV competitions.

In the three-mile varsity boys’ race, junior Neo Harter posted the RedHawks’ best finish taking fourth place in a time of 19:05, Valdez (19:57) finished sixth, Edgar Garcia (20:02) was not far behind in seventh, and Lucian Manor (20:53) rounded out the top 10.

Colusa’s varsity girls squad, made up of three juniors, finished in a pack led by Lupita Perez (26:16) who crossed the line in seventh place followed by Lissandra Fuerte (27:08) in eighth and Gladis Almaraz (27:11) in ninth.

A pair of freshman paced the RedHawks in the 2.2 mile JV contest as Jesse Medina (14:02) and Jacob Cerney (14:09) took first and third place respectively with sophomores Asa Smith (14:38) and Rodolfo Rodrigues (14:53) coming in fifth and sixth.

It was an all-Colusa affair for the JV girls, which saw freshman Elle Faris (16:52) turn in the winning time and set the pace for sophomores Carly Simmons (17:05) and Karsyn Gwinnup (18:15) along with fellow freshman Eleanor Jewett (22:04).

Colusa harriers ran in their second meet of the season on Wednesday, Feb. 10, in a head-to-head match-up with Gridley. ♣

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