As the series goes on fewer and fewer improve their times. Hence fewer finish before the 30 minute mark. In race five, only 48 of 172 (28%) returnees did. Where in race two, 129 of the 169 (76%) ran faster. Sandbagging the first race is part of the reason for the difference but the weather comes into play too. Hopefully the weather will be good for the last race and there will be a lot of PRs.
In race five, Michael McCarthy (Driller 08/San Jose State see photo) came in 16th overall with a 20:01/28:46 time and right behind him was local musician Jenny Gia (aka Jenny Angel) in a time of 30:41/28:46.9.
Not to far behind them was Robby Baker's (Ridgeview Sr, who has second best time in series this year) mom Danette, who came in 29th in a time of 32:41. She just held of what will be a preview of this year's cross country season. Tijerra Lynch (Ridgeview Jr) and Sarah Baker (Bakersfield Jr) came in 32 and 33rd.
These two are the defending league champs in their respective leagues in 2008 and are odds on favorites to repeat. They often go head to head in track invites and do the same in cross country invites.
Today, Tijerra ran 24:31/29:20 and Sarah ran 23:50/29:23 for the 5k but look for both of them to be going under 19 minutes perhaps by seasons end. Tijerra lead her team to a valley title (division 3) last year and looks to repeat and do better at state. Sarah is in the super tough division one but looks to snag one of the individual berths this year to state.
A couple others that got in before the 30 minute mark were Lina Nunez (CSUB) in 21:14/29:43, Robert Quintero (Golden Valley/BC) 17:29/29:51 and his former Bulldog teammate Cesar Mireles who had the fastest time of the series with his 16:25/29:41 clocking. David Bacus (recent 2:52 marathoner) ran 17:22/29:57 and a local running fixture here in town, Klaus Benamy-Hackel ran 23:27/29:53.
The fastest women's time of the day was recorded by CSUB's Judith Mata. She flew by me at the bottom of the bike path but her 18:56 might be off some. If her time is accurate, it is a really good time and is two minutes faster then former leader Brooklan Rosales. But with the often confusing start times and the heat, her time might be wrong. If it is dead on she is going to have a really good second season for the Roadrunners.
This 5th race brought out 25 new runners to the series and there were a number of current or former high school runners in their mist. Former Driller John Purcell ran 22:16, East High's Charlie Zaragoza ran 23:25, Monica Guzman (Garces Sr.) ran 23:56.
It was also good to see valley 4 x 400 champ Matt Turkington (Centennial Sr) having a go at the much longer distance with his girlfrien Jorey Braugton (Centennial Sr). He ran 31:40, she runs cross country for the Golden Hawks.
Last but not least, Andie and Chan Condie ran 24:24 and 2431 on their first time out on the course. Andie is 12 I believe and is looking forward to running some meets in Eygpt soon. Her father works in Quatar and the whole family has lived there for the past six years. His wife went to South High and they came back to Bakersfield for a month or so and boy did they have a visit.
After only being back in the states for a week or two, the family entered the Howlin at the Moon race. Andi, Dan and another daughter had a good race but their brother Tyler DNFed (did not finish). He ended up in the ER after getting hit by a car on Calloway. The good news is he is recovering from his injuries and will be joining his family back in Quater soon.
I had only known this family through a couple emails earlier this summer but now I have spoken to them at several of our local running events. They are a great family and have handled this accident with such grace and dignity. I hope to hear from them in the future and I beat tyler will be out there finishing that next race.