Center Meet #1
RESULTS AT BOTTOM OF PAGE
Varsity Girls Turn back Purple Tide; JVB Squad Rolls over League at Center Meet
In the penultimate race of the afternoon at Wednesday's 1st Diablo Athletic League center meet of the season, the varsity girls faced a College Park squad that had beaten them in 2 consecutive invitationals over the previous 2 weekends. With a quartet of underclassmen on the rise, the Falcons were considered the favorites for ending the defending league and section champions' undefeated run.
Campolindo's varsity girls were last defeated by a league opponent on October 30, 2013, on a flat, fast Shadow Cliffs Regional Park course. A talented Las Lomas squad took advantage of a roster depleted by injuries to beat the Cougars, 26-31. Missing from the varsity lineup were several stars, including eventual state championship runner up Brighie Leach (15).
Since that day, 6 years ago, the rest of the league has been playing catch up. Thus, Wednesday's varsity girls' competition was billed as the race of the meet.
As the shadows lengthened across the Hidden Valley Park trails, 8 girls toed the starting line in navy and white. Among them was Paloma Hancock (20), making her season debut after a 4-month recovery from injury sustained during the spring track season. Also in the group was Emma Smith (20), herself returning to the lineup after missing the previous weekend's competition. The 2 distance veterans would prove critical as the race unfolded.
Through the 1st mile Ellie Buckley (23) and Alicia Hober (20) dutifully executed their race plan, positioning themselves alongside their front-running counterparts. Meanwhile, Smith and Hancock marked College Park's 3rd and 4th runners. However, after a less-than-stellar start, the remainder of the Cougars' scorers trailed the 5th purple jersey by several places.
Fortunately, Smith began picking up places in the middle mile and Hancock refused to let go of the Falcons' 3-4 duo.
While the battle among the middle-scoring places appeared to favor the Cougars, Buckley and Hober continued to trade positions with College Park's top 2 and Sydney Roberts (21) and Quinn Guthrie (23) remained stalled behind the Falcon's 5th.
As the field ascended Finale Hill, the outcome was still in question, though Hancock had moved ahead of College Park's 3rd competitor.
Buckley and Hober overtook their marks through the final 800 meters, finishing in the 1st and 3rd dual-scorning positions, respectively. Smith was next across the line, just ahead of Miramonte's 2nd scorer, and then Hancock.
Though the next 2 scoring spots were wearing purple, the Cougars' had already clinched the dual win. Roberts and Guthrie rallied to overtake the Falcons' last scorer, widening what had been expected to be a razor thin margin.
The gritty varsity girls' showdown was preceded by a wire-to-wire thrashing of the junior varsity boys' field by Campolindo. The veteran squad claimed the top 6 finishing places. Bradford Martin (21) earned the individual victory in 11:15, a career best on the 2-mile course. Also showing significant improvement was Alex Clare (21), who finished 6th.
In the end, all 6 squads swept their league opponents in the dual-scoring race format, positioning the Cougars for another attempt at a sweep of the league championship titles in November.
Campolindo 19, Acalanes 39
Campolindo 25, Acalanes 30
Campolindo 15, Acalanes 50
Campolindo 17, Acalanes 42
Campolindo 15, Acalanes 47
Campolindo 19, Acalanes 36