Going in the final meet of the season with Christian, the Boys Cross Country team was defending a 4-year dual meet winning streak, with their fourth consecutive league championship on the line. The last dual meet they had lost was the final meet of 2003 and that was by only one point to Clairemont, after posting a perfect season up to that point.
This year both Christian and Coronado had close meets against Clairemont and the race turned out to be as competitive as those results predicted. Ben Enowitz finished first over the City Conference three-mile course in 16:09 followed by Christian's Jesse Beason in 16:34. Coronado's David Grimes finished third in 16:48, answered by Christian's Michael May in 16:48 in fourth.
Coronado's Kevin Siefert was next in 17:08, followed by Christian's Daniel Strauss in 17:26. This placed three runners of out the five eligible scorers from each team over the finish line. The Islander's Sean O'Brien and Andy Centeno delivered the coup de grace finishing seventh and eighth with times of 17:51 and 17:58 respectively. The Patriot's fourth and fifth runners finished ninth and tenth to complete the scoring with Coronado winning 24-31 (in cross country the finish positions of the Top 5 runners from each team are added, with the low score winning). Turner Stanley and Ben Green finished 11th and 14th to round out the varsity finishers followed by Cotter Stacy, Kramer De Laurentis, Gabe Salvatierra, Jordan Vance, Danny Luiken, Micah Fischer, Jack Nolan, Lucas Hemp, Byran Beverly, Daniel Grazian, and Alex Fish. This year's team owes its success to two new members (O'Brien and Centeno) and also to great seasons by veterans Enowitz, Grimes, Siefert, Stanley, and Green. All came through in our key meets to make it four league titles in a row.
The Islander girls' four-year record was nearly the same as the boys' with only a (still painful) one-point loss to Christian in 2005 marring a perfect string of dual meet victories. In 2006 Coronado avenged that loss with a one-point win over the Patriots to secure the 2006 Central League title. Both teams came into last week's meet with 4-0 records but the paper race indicated that we were the better team.
It turned out it wasn't close, with Coronado taking the Top 5 spots to repeat as league champs. Sallie Privett won by nearly a minute in 19:11 over the same three-mile course run by the boys, followed by Annie Lovering (20:09), Adie Davies (20:23), Cassie Callahan (20:38), and Sadie Gimber (20:40).
Selina Schmeck finished 10th followed by Coco O'Brien in 11th. To be honest, I was worried about the girls' prospects over the summer as we had only Privett, Davies, O'Brien, and Schmeck returning. However, several recruiting calls netted top Coronado Middle School track athletes Lovering and Callahan, and we got a new runner from across the Bay in Gimber. This added three excellent freshmen to transform us into a strong Division IV team that will go into the CIF championships as one of the favorites. Add to this the services of volunteer coach Bill Davies, who has seen his share of big meets as an athlete, to help out with the girls' team and we've had a pretty good run so far this season.