It has been a year of starts and stops for the Colusa cross country team dating back to September when the team began some of its first sustained workouts. Still, commitment paid off last Friday, March 12, when they claimed both the varsity boys and girls league titles for the first time in school history.
In a season that saw the elimination of JV races and the implementation of a dual race format, the resilient RedHawks used a mix of experience and youth to overcome both injuries as well as the loss of runners to the start of other sports to finish on top amidst the confusion caused by COVID modifications.
Colusa’s varsity boys, the defending NSCIF champions, had been beaten by Winters in the previous three meets but rallied in the Sacramento Valley League championships to defeat the Warriors by a seven-point differential.
Senior Lucian Manor (19:21) led the RedHawks, finishing fourth and earning All-League honors, as did sophomore Rodolfo Rodrigues (19:40) in the sixth, and junior Neo Harter (20:04), who was seventh.
Rounding out the team was senior Edgar Garcia (20:25), who turned in a valiant effort despite battling a leg injury, along with freshman Jesse Medina (20:31).
While Pierce sophomore Cindy Corona was the top county performer in the varsity girl’s race, crossing the line in second place with a time of 23:13 to garner an All-League spot, it was the RedHawk girl’s team that came away with the league crown.
Pacing Colusa was Carly Simmons (25:49), whose seventh-place finish secured the sophomore an All-League patch.
Teammates Lupita Perez (26:33), Elle Faris (27:18) and Gladis Almaraz (27:35), and Eleanor Jewett (33:58) also did their part to contribute to the victory.
In response to his team’s performance, Colusa coach Matt Giffin shared how gratifying the result was and explaining how it was in part a testament to the strength of the RedHawk program.
“Coach Townzen and I are extremely proud of these runners. We have never won both varsity boys and girls league simultaneously, and one reason we prevailed is probably because of our strong cross-country tradition. We outlasted and overcame other teams in part because of our enduring legacy of a winning attitude that is passed on from season to season,” Giffin said.
Under normal circumstances, the next step would be the section championships; however, league finals are this year’s culminating event.