November 27, 2021 Cougars Claim 7th State Title: Girls Top D3 Podium while Boys Finish 5th Overall
Capping what seemed like the longest of seasons following nearly a year-and-a-half of Covid-suspended high school athletics, the Campolindo varsity cross country squads each climbed the podium for a 3rd time in 3 consecutive attempts at the 2021 California state championships on the historic Woodward Park course in Fresno.
On the wings of an inspired front-running effort from senior Rhys Pullen (22) and another strong pack performance, the varsity boys' team contributed to one of the most competitive division 3 races in state meet history. Blake Webster (23) was particularly ambitious as his squad sprang to an early lead through the opening mile.
While the Cougars' enjoyed their best effort of the season, top-ranked West Torrance managed to hold off the challenge, scrapping their way to a 13-point win over the defending champions. It was a well-earned victory, as Campolindo put up a brilliant fight, posting the 2nd-best team time in school history. They also claimed the 5th overall spot in the merge of all divisions on the day.
In addition to Webster's massive 3 minute and 25 second improvement, Sam Smith (22), Finn Jordan (22), and Connor McGhee (23) also finished with career best times on the 5 kilometer course.
Ranked behind San Diego section leader Cathedral Catholic and San Joaquin's Del Oro, the varsity girls ran through the opening 2 miles of their race unimpressed by the competition. Ellie Buckley (23) and Shea Volkmer (24) were at the front early while Makena Weberski (24) and Angeni Lieben (22) kept the 1-through-4 pack margin exceptionally tight. This, in spite of Weberski's fall just 300 meters into the race.
The sophomore hit the pavement amidst the opening stampede, picked herself back up, and made up lost ground quickly as blood streamed from a gash in her left leg.
The opening-mile quick score had the Cougars 79 points ahead of their nearest rival. However, the ferocious early pace began to take its toll as the squad gave back 30 places by the 2.1 mile mark.
Up front, Buckley continued to challenge for the individual title in her 2nd pass through the gauntlet; but, her squad's advantage in the team standings was quickly evaporating. As Lieben crossed the 2-mile mark, they were showing signs of distress.
While Buckley would contribute just 2 points to the team standings, and Volkmer and Weberski would finish as the top 2-3 scorers by a wide margin, a cross country team result requires the contribution of five finishers.
Fortunately, depth provided by Daisy Penney (24) and Caroline McCool (23) gave the Cougars a fire wall against any late-race meltdowns. Penney finished just 2 places behind Del Oro's 4th scorer while McCool crossed the line 4 places back of the Golden Eagle's 5th to preserve the victory.
It is the 6th state championship for the Campolindo girls' program, and the 1st time the Cougars have managed to claim back-to-back CIF titles.
November 20, 2021 Boys Narrow Scoring Spread to Win NCS; Lieben's PR Keeps Girls on Pace for Title
Angeni Lieben (22), the only senior on the squad, turned in the greatest performance of their high school career to help the varsity girls' team win its 18th championship at Saturday's North Coast Section meet at Hayward High School on Saturday. The victory is the 8th straight NCS title for Campolindo in division 3.
While Lieben shored up the Cougar's back-end scoring, Ellie Buckley (23) and Shea Volkmer (24) continued their season-long supremacy up front, finishing 2nd and 3rd, respectively. The low sticks proved critical in fending off an impressive challenge from a Tamalpais team that placed 4 scorers among the top 20.
November 13, 2021 Varsity Visits Hayward Course; Harriers Devour Tasty Burritos Following Workout
In preparation for the upcoming North Coast Section championships, the Campolindo post-season squads traveled south to Hayward High School for another mystery fartlek workout. After reviewing the looping course and executing various pace changes over the duration of the 50-minute run, athletes and coaches made the traditional stop in Montclair for post-practice burritos.
November 6, 2021 Boys Sweep League; JV Girls Rise to Win as Cougars Dominate DAL Championships
With Camille Yabu (23) returning to form and Bryn Hober (23) providing another low stick, the junior varsity girls' squad outran the Matadors to claim the DAL Championships team victory on Saturday at Hidden Valley Park. The Cougars had suffered regular season losses to Miramonte at both of the preceding center meets, but managed to put all their scoring pieces together in order to forge a tie for the overall league title.
October 30, 2021 Sassy Ducks Don't Deter Fartlek Workout
Campolindo traveled to Concord's Newhall Park for its annual "mystery" fartlek workout on the Saturday, October 30, preceding the Diablo Athletic League Championships. Athletes practiced responding to pace changes on the gravel trails while avoiding other park users, including a feisty flock of swans and ducks.
October 27, 2021 Buckley Breaks Stadium Record; Invite Offers Final Regular Season Tune-up
Wednesday's Mid-Season Mania 3200m Invitational provided a final test of fitness for the Cougars, along with athletes from 13 different visiting teams, in advance of post-season competition, which begins on November 6.
The event included 18 mixed-gender heats, each loaded with progressively faster athletes, culminating in a late-evening showdown between some of the best runners in California. Top-ranked squads from Vacaville, Newark Memorial, Dougherty Valley, Monte Vista, Miramonte, and Campolindo supplied individual performers who sparked sensational competition to close out the evening.
As part of our committment to educate and empower student-athletes to create positive change on matters of race and equality, we engage in instructional activities developed by Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality. Featured topics include identity, privilege, and racism.
Cougar Cross Country stands in solidarity with BLM against racial injustice. We are committed to equity work on our campus and in our community. Our athletes and coaches are actively engaged in these efforts both through regular team discussions, presentations and service projects, and in collaboration with Positive Coaching Alliance educational workshops and the campus-wide Diversity & Inclusion project.
Do you enjoy the majestic landscape of the East Bay? We do. We are grateful for the opportunity to live and train in this region, rich in both cultural heritage and natural beauty. We encourage participants and their families to consider a contribution to the Sogorea Te Land Trust as a gesture of gratitude for the privilege to use this land and respect for its indigenous inhabitants.
Purchasing Team Gear: The final window for ordering team apparel for the 2021 fall season has closed. Athletes who wish to purchase team singlets ($43), shorts ($20), tees ($30), and sweat pants ($36), must buy them directly from Coach Chuck in room E12 before school or at brunch.
XCStats.com: This is our database for collecting athlete training and competition data as well as our tool for communicating to athletes and parents. All athletes must set up an XCStats.com account in order to participate in Campolindo cross country.
Facebook Group: The official team Facebook group is where you will find frequent announcements, notes about competition logistics, meeting times, helpful links to current articles and more. It is also a useful forum for asking questions!
HSU Distance Running Camp: This legendary week-long summer workshop is hosted on the Humboldt State University campus and provides an opportunity for athletes to learn from some of the top coaches and elite athletes in the sport today, all while enjoying the most spectacularly beautiful running trails in the world.