We thought after the Saints Small School Invitational that based on their results Clairemont wouldn’t be a threat in the Central League championship. We knew they had two very good front runners, but Coronado had the depth. What we didn’t know (but feared might be the case) is they had another runner who wasn’t at the Saints meet.
Last Friday’s dual meet with Clairemont will probably turn out to be the deciding match for this year’s title, as there appears to be no other teams in the league with either the front runners or the depth to compete.
Ben Enowitz and the Chieftain’s top two runners Bernardo Bahena and Daniel Crotty, changed leads throughout the 3-mile Morley Field City Conference cross country course all the way to the finish line, where Bahena won by 6 inches over teammate Crotty, with Enowitz only 2 inches back. All three runners were clocked in 17:07.
The Islanders Michael Davies placed fourth in 17:49, followed by David Grimes, Andrew Falkiewicz and Jack Harms in the sixth, seventh and eighth places respectively. The previously unknown Clairemont runner placed fifth.
Harms closed from ninth to eighth place in the last 300 yards to overtake a Clairemont runner, a move that gave the Islanders a two-point swing and proved to be one of the crucial moves of the race. Cross country is scored by adding the finishing places of the Top 5 finishers from each team, with the lowest score winning. When Harms crossed the finish line, Coronado had 28 points for their first five runners, compared to Clairemont’s 17 points for their first four runners. Had Clairemont been able to place their fifth runner in the 10th position, they would have won 27-28.
Another element of cross country scoring is that a team consists of seven runners. The sixth and seventh finishers from a team aren’t scored, but they take up spots in the order of finish, to push back the score of the other team; hence the term ‘pushers.’ Cotter Stacy and Jose Tijerina finished in the 10th and 11th slots, and pushed Clairemont’s score back to 29 points after their fifth runner finished in 12th place.
The final score was 28-29 in favor of the Islanders. Also competing, but not scoring for Coronado were Ben Green, Jack McMahon and Ross Palmer.
The Girls match-up was much less dramatic, as Clairemont failed to field a full team and forfeited the match 15-50. Way out in front was Clairemont’s Division III defending champion Bridie McCarey, who finished with a time of 18:52 over the same three-mile course run by the boys. Coronado’s Marissa Nagler came in third place in 23:21, followed by Karolin Ivarsson (4th in 23:25), Anneke Nelson (5th), Sheila Braun (6th), Sammie Runyon (7th), Allison Cabana (8th), Sarah Player (11th), Helen Luppi (12th) and Brigid Twomey (13th).
Two days later at the "Dare to Soar the Bridge" 8K run (4.97 miles), David Grimes averaged 5:50 per mile to place fourth overall in 29:02, out of over 800 runners. Not too shabby.