It's easy to tell in the early cross country meets which kids put in the miles over the summer.
Four members of the Islander squad tested their fitness against hundreds of other runners from schools throughout San Diego County at the annual Vaquero Invitational hosted by El Capitan High School in Lakeside. Races were divided by year in school (Frosh-Soph and Junior-Senior), as well as school size (large or small). CHS sophomore Sallie Privett dominated the small school Frosh/Soph race, winning by nearly a minute with a time of 9 minutes 28 seconds over the 1.65-mile girls' course. Fellow sophomore, Adie Davies, placed fourth in 10:37, only 11 seconds behind the second place finisher.
After all the other girls races were run, Sallie's time stood-up as the best of the day, a full four seconds faster than Patrick Henry's Emily Osga, who won the large school Junior/Senior race in 9:32. More than 300 girls competed in the various races.
Senior Ben Enowitz wanted to test his fitness against the more competitive large school runners and nearly took the whole thing, with a close second-place finish to San Pasqual's Kenneth Raedel in the large school Junior/Senior race. Ben's time over the 2.15-mile boys course was 10:48 which translates to a per-mile pace of 5:02. These two times stood up as the best of the meet after all boys races were run. Junior David Grimes had a good outing as well, with a sixth place finish in the small school Junior/Senior race. Nearly 400 boys competed overall. We plan to skip next week's invitational meets to prepare the entire team for the upcoming season. Our next outing will be the Mt. Carmel Invitational September 15.
Regarding the coming season, the girls’ team could be one of the best we've had in recent years. It takes a minimum of five fast runners to be competitive at the Division IV level. With Privett and Davies bolstered by returning sophomores Coco O'Brien and Selina Schmeck and three fast freshmen in Annie Lovering, Cassie Callahan and Sadie Gimber, we should be in good shape. Also returning from the 2005 squad is Allison Cabana. The total size of the girls' team will be on the small side at around 10 runners, but there's some talent there. The Lady Islanders are the defending Central League champs and it looks like we'll be contenders again in 2007.
The boys' team needs to have a couple of runners step up to defend its Central League championship (three titles in a row now). One of last season's top three competitors, Michael Davies, isn't running this year due to health-related issues. He may come back later in the season, but he won't be ready to compete. His departure leaves a big gap in the squad.
Our top three runners, Enowitz, Grimes and Turner Stanley are supported by the rest of last year's varsity squad who include Jose Tijerina, Kramer De Laurentis, Kevin Siefert, Cotter Stacy, and Ben Green. Runners who could move up are Cory Couture, Danny Luiken, Gabe Salvatierra, and Jordan Vance. However the boy's team has over 30 runners, mostly from the lacrosse squad who are using the sport as a means to get in shape. There may be several others who move up, but it's too early to tell at this point.