The student news site of The Harker School.

Harker Aquila

The student news site of The Harker School.

Harker Aquila

The student news site of The Harker School.

Harker Aquila

Winged Post

Cross-country team earns season-best results at Baylands meet

Emma Li
Emily Bryan (10) races on a path around Baylands park in the Girls varsity race, the last event of the second WBAL meet. Racers looped around the park twice before diverging from the path.

The cross-country team dominated in the second West Bay Athletics League (WBAL) race at Baylands Park on Oct. 23, which meet directors rescheduled from the previous Thursday because of high temperature concerns.

The 3.1-mile course featured a loop twice around the park’s main trail before the path diverged to a series of four successive slopes. Runners then raced around the park once more for their final mile, finishing back on the central field. Because of the meet’s rescheduled time, a few schools could not attend, so scores do not contribute to the final league rankings. Instead, the first WBAL meet will count toward one-third of the final standings and league championships will contribute two-thirds.

A total of 40 Harker runners competed in the boys varsity, girls varsity, boys junior varsity and girls junior varsity races. The boys varsity team swept the first four places of their race, with co-captain Veyd Patil (12) earning the fastest time of 16:34, followed by Robinson Xiang (10), Axel Szolusha (9) and Harriss Miller (11). All members of the varsity boys team completed the race in under 20 minutes.

Members of the JV Boys team Nelson Gou (11) and Jason Zhang (10) race at the Baylands meet on Oct. 23. Meet directors rescheduled the race from the previous Thursday because of high temperature concerns. (Emma Gao)

Upper school cross-country head coach Kevin Oliver praised the entire team for their exceptional performance, noting that several athletes ran personal records on the Baylands course as well as the overall season. He further notes that the positive results from the meet bode well ahead of the league championships this week.

“I’ve got to give all the credit to the athletes there,” Oliver said. “They came in under challenging circumstances. We’ve had a couple hard weeks of training and dealing with the heat, and they didn’t let that upset their approach. I thought the mindset was good, people came in with high expectations for themselves, and they went out and executed.”

Among the varsity girls, Ava Alvarez (9) led the Eagles with a time of 22:11 and took eighth place overall. Gabe Li (11) led the JV boys with a time of 19:51, while Sophia Ou (10) finished fastest among the JV girls with a time of 25:43.

Co-captain Laurel Davies (12) ran her first meet of the season after recovering from a knee injury. She cites Baylands as her favorite cross-country course and describes her return to racing as better than expected.

“Baylands is definitely my favorite course: it’s flat, it’s shady, the hills are really nice and gentle,” Laurel said. “It was my first meet back after my injury, and it went amazing. I think I did really well for my injured self.”

Sophia Ou (10) runs in the JV girls race at the Baylands meet on Oct. 23. Sophia led her team with a time of 25:43. (Emma Gao)

As the championship meet approaches, Axel looks to not only improve on his time but also to simply enjoy the race. He also reflects on his experience as a frosh on the team over the past few months. 

“[The season] has definitely [been] a really interesting experience,” Axel said. “[High school sports] is definitely a lot higher quality [than middle school]. I really appreciate how there’s a lot more people who are excited about running and how we have a great coach.”

The cross-country team competes in their final race of the season, the league championships on Friday. 

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About the Contributors
Emma Gao
Emma Gao, Aquila Co-Managing Editor
Emma Gao (12) is a co-managing editor for Harker Aquila, and this is her fourth year on staff. This year, she hopes to explore writing a variety of articles as well as interview more people around campus. In her free time, she enjoys going on long hikes, evening walks around her neighborhood and road trips along Highway 1.
Emma Li
Emma Li, Reporter
Emma Li (10) is a reporter for Harker Aquila, and this is her second year on staff. She hopes to improve her interviewing skills this year, improve her time management in order to turn in pieces more efficiently, and make her writing more direct and concise. Right now, she likes listening to soft rock, psychedelic rock, and some hip-hop.

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