RESULTS AT BOTTOM OF PAGE
Boys Upset Favorites at Section Meet; Poor Air Quality Suspends Girls' Race
After more than a week of unhealthy air quality resulting from the horrific wildfire that ravaged northern California, the North Coast Section delayed its championships in the hopes that conditions would improve and eventually allow outdoor athletic activities to resume. The annual NCS meet, originally scheduled for Saturday, November 17, was finally held on Tuesday, November 20, the last possible date allowed by the California Interscholastic Federation.
While the air quality at Hayward High School was far from perfect, the early morning AQI readings showed promise and meet management proceeded with races, beginning at 8:30am.
By the start of the Division 3 boys' competition however, it was clear that the density of particulate matter was rising, though it had not yet reached the 150 AQI threshold that would necessitate calling off the race.
Thus, under extremely hazy skies, the varsity boys squad sprinted off the starting line at the sound of the gun. Their mission was to unseat the defending champion Pumas of Maria Carrillo and earn a 16th consecutive trip to the state championships.
The Cougars charged to the front over the opening quarter mile. As the field completed its 1st turn around the Mendez Loop, approximately 900 meters into the race, Edward Buckley (19), Cayden Hein (20) and Dylan Gunn (21) held an advantage over their Santa Rosa counterparts. In fact, with Dylan Cronin (20) also out well, the Campolindo squad looked positioned to defeat their rivals.
It was not until the race headed up the gradual climb just passed the half-way point that the Puma's lead duo began to turn the tables. Maria Carrillo's Colton Swinth and Rory Smail moved ahead of Buckley by the 2-mile mark, and it appeared the Cougar's top gun was beginning to labor.
Yet, as Buckley battled to hang on, Cameron Iniguez-Reyes (19), who had been lingering in the 5th scoring position, began picking off places at a feverish clip. Over the final half-mile the senior streaked by Cronin and caught Buckley, helping his team post an impressive 25-second scoring spread and reclaim the section title.
The NCS win is Campolindo's 5th in the last 6 years.
Unfortunately, the girls' squad would not have the opportunity to match the boys. Just as the Division 4 girls competition was about to begin, the NCS commissioner announced that the AQI had surpassed 150 and the remainder of races were subsequently canceled.
As per the contingency plan published previously by the NCS office, advancers to the state championships would be selected by committee for all divisions unable to compete due to poor air quality.
While the defending champions were a likely candidate for selection, it was not until 6:00pm that the girls' squad was confirmed as an official entry in the 2018 state meet.
Campolindo 47, Maria Carrillo 56, Redwood 106, Las Lomas 112, Acalanes 141, Casa Grande 148, Alameda 199, Northgate 221, Tamalpais 232, Newark Memorial 269, Windsor 300, American Canyon 345, Montgomery 395, JFK 424, Concord 432, El Cerrito 439, Hayward 470, Rancho Cotate 560