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But the meet I had long ago picked to cover went on as planned . It started a hour later and it was not that bad at Heritage Park. Sure it was hot (near 100) but there was a breeze and plenty of shade.
This park is one of my favorites for racing because it all on grass and there hills all over the place. The course is roughly the same as when I ran it in the 80s for Highland (I won the only time I ran on it btw). You run across the only flat part of the course, then turn right and go uphill to Bernard street. Then more uphill till you get to Mt. Vernon when you head downhill to the cul-de -sac part. Then downhill again along Mt Vernon.
Then you basically do a small inner loop with up and down a hill part and then do the course in reverse for two laps. So I bet you are confused and so were many of the athletes. The course makes sense to me but I have always had a really good almost Spiderman-like superpower sense of direction.
To add to the confusion was the long pre-race description of the course. Most had run a loop with their team already and knew where to go. But when you are nervous at the start line and several well meaning adults are trying to tell you were to go, you get confused super fast. In the earlier races, kids were going everywhere and it was confusing.
But by the time the varsity races started, most should have known where to go if they had watched the earlier races. When the varsity races began near 6pm, it was very shady on the course and there was quite an evening crowd milling around the park.
At the whistle, Monica Guzman took her usual lead and kept it to the end. The interesting part of the race was behind her, where two packs of runners where running for the team title. For half the race, things looked close between Garces and Foothill.
It looked like it might go the Trojans way but then on the second trip through the cul-de-sac, Veloz (FHS) just stopped in her tracks while running in the chase pack behind Guzman. She got sick, recovered and went on to run a gutsy race. In fact, she caught her team mate Fernandez who was having severe back pain but did not leave her because she was unfamiliar with the course.
In the end, Guzman was followed by a couple of her team mates, and they took the wins over Foothill and East. Garces is 2-1, Foothill is 2-1 and East is 1-3.
Garces 23, Foothill 32
Foothill 22, East 36
Garces 21, East 36
1. Guzman, G, 22:37; 2. Garcia, E, 22:50; 3. Brown, G, 23:21; 4. Vu, F, 23:41; 5. Fernandez, F, 23:54; 6. Veloz, F, 23:57; 7. Marasak, F, 23:57; 8. Cruz, G, 24:23; 9. Montoya, F, 24:29; 10. Garcia, E, 25:04.
JV Foothill 26, East 31
The boys race was not as dramatic as the girls race. The East boys took over the lead with a couple Foothill runners and O'Malley (Garces) in tow. As the race progressed up and down the hills, the pack became the East pack and Lopez from Foothill.
In the end, Lopez was able to take the win but with East coming in 2,3,4 and five in beforebefore Foothill had three in, their team victory was assured. So now both squads have 2-1 records. Garces record drops to 1-2.
Foothill 21, Garces 34
East 22, Foothill 37
East 17, Garces 48
1. Lopez, F, 17:51; 2. Ramirez, E, 17:54; 3. Lazarit, E, 18:02; 4. Mosqueda, E, 18:04; 5. Bautista, F, 18:25; 6. O'Malley, G, 18:28; 7. Moss, E, 18:45; 8. Sotello, E, 19:06; 9. Fuentes, E, 19:17, 10. Freed, G, 19:36.