Sunday, November 30, 2014

St. Francis Takes Third In State X-Country

by Steven Shaff
St. Francis recorded a top-five finish for the third time in the last four seasons Saturday at the CIF State Cross Country Meet in Fresno.

The Troubadours finished among the Top 10 for the fourth straight season and became the third Nor Cal team to earn a podium finish at the Division I state meet (St. Francis, 2012; Davis, 2013) and second in school history.

“I am in shock,” said senior Peyton Bilo. “I don’t even know what to say I am so happy. We did not think we were barely going to crack the top 10. When we saw we were third, it was a great feeling.”

Senior Miranda Myers, a Northern Arizona signee, led the Troubadours in 26th overall in a time of 18:43. She was one of three student-athletes to run under 19:00. 
St. Francis Cross Country team placed third at state meet

“We had a really good run out at two miles,” said Head Coach DuCray. “Miranda was going after it and Peyton was close. Ariane Ardnt had the race of the day coming in under 19 minutes. Having three girls within 10 seconds and the two freshmen stayed within 30 seconds was key. It is not always who has the fast runner but a group of runners.”

DuCray preached the pack mentality with his team all season. 

“Running in a pack is the key to our success,” said Bilo, who was 30th overall in 18:53. “We did not have any standouts like we did last year. We are all close together and hung in there. The pack is what pulled us through. Without each other, we could have not done it.”

Arndt, who was a member of the St. Francis 4x400 meter relay that finished third in the state last spring, had her best race of the season to cross the line 38th (18:55).

“We did not expect it but we ran together and stayed positive,” said Myers.

Freshmen Ava Nkadi and Sydney Vandegrift put together good races in their first state meet. Nkadi was 60th overall and the seventh-fastest freshman in the field, while Vandegrift was 93rd overall to round out the scoring five.

“It feels amazing,” said Vandegrift. “I could have done better but I am happy with the overall result as a team. I could not have asked for a better team to be with.”

Davis Junior Fiona O’Keeffe was the individual title for the second consecutive season. Great Oak won the team title with 45 points followed by Sac-Joaquin section runner-up Bella Vista in second with 141 points.

Team results: 1. Great Oak 45; 2. Bella Vista 141; 3. St. Francis 186; 4. Clovis North 198; 5. Trabuco Hills 203; 6. Arcadia 225; 7. Vista Murrieta 235; 8. Yucaipa 239; 9. Poly (Long Beach) 243; 10. Homestead 251; 11. Davis Sr. 284; 12. Buchanan 321; 13. E. Roosevelt 330; 14. Monta Vista 360; 15. Monte Vista 381; 16. San Marcos 384; 17. Torrey Pines 402; 18. Palisades Charter 416; 19. San Ramon Valley 427; 20. Lowell 472; 21. San Pedro 553; 22. El Camino 556; 23. Skyline 719.

St. Francis results: 26. Miranda Myers, 18:43; 30. Peyton Bilo, 18:53; 38. Ariane Arndt, 18:55; 60. Ava Nkadi, 19:12; 93. Sydney Vandegrift, 19:36; 127. Chase Worthen, 20:15; 154. Gabrielle Dyer, 20:41. 

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