After successful Crystal performance, boys’ cross country gears up for future meets

October 16, 2019 — by Nitya Marimuthu and Sina Salehi

As senior Shivam Verma reached the final corner of the course at Baylands park in Sunnyvale on Sept. 24, he began to sprint as teammate sophomore Harrison Dance ran close behind him. The two boys raced together across the field, crossing the finish line in the sweltering heat of the late afternoon with a meager gap of a 0.5 seconds between their times.

Verma ended in third place with a time of 16:41.3 while Dance finished in fourth place with a time of 16:41.8. 

Placing among the top ten has become common for the boys’ cross country team. Over the past three meets, the seven runners on varsity have placed in a total of four races. 

At the Half Moon Bay Artichoke Invitational on Oct. 5, Dance came in second in the 2.3 mile varsity race. The team landed in third place out of the 36 teams competing, with Dance, Verma and junior Niyanth Rao driving the team’s success. 

The team’s most recent race was at Crystal Springs in Belmont on Oct. 8, where Dance placed fifth in the varsity race, with a time of 16:00.3, while Verma placed seventh with a time of 16:20.2. Dance’s pace was 5:25 per mile, giving him a PR on the 2.95 mile-long race. 

The team placed sixth overall behind top competition such as Los Altos, Monta Vista and Palo Alto. This is slightly lower than they hope to place at the Central Coast Section final, where they need to place in the top two in order to move on to their ultimate goal of states. The top two runners for the Varsity team as of now are Dance and Verma, and they will need to beat Los Altos top runner Adam Sage as well as other strong runners. 

Dance felt that the team had performed much better at the second official meet of the season at Crystal Springs. 

“It was really hot at Baylands, [the first meet of the year] and the conditions were definitely better [at Crystal Springs],” Dance said. “We definitely improved from our performance.” 

Despite their improvement in times, the team also struggled from a loss of key runners due to injury: sophomore Sina Salehi was out due to a calf injury and Rao was recovering from multiple stitches in the leg. Senior Jonathan Zhao said that he was impressed with runner that stepped up to fill in the places of his missing varsity teammates like senior Victor Lee. He said the team did pretty well overall at Crystal Springs. 

“I feel like with the amount of improvement that everyone is having, our meets are gonna be a lot better assuming that no nobody injures themselves more,” Zhao said. 

The varsity team’s next meet will be the Mt. Sac Invitational in Los Angeles on Oct. 19. Their next league meet will be on Oct. 22 at Baylands Park. 

 

 

 

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