By Leonard COUTIN
Over the weekend the CVHS Falcons cross-country team took to the road and headed north to Fresno for the 33rd running of the ASICS Clovis Invitational.
Many teams with state meet aspirations come to the ASICS Clovis Invitational to give their runners the chance to experience the course before the state championships in November. The Invitational provides some serious mid-season competition and historically CVHS has left its mark on the scorecard.
It is on this course that CVHS graduate and star runner Zack Torres, who now attends UCLA, took the 16th fastest time – 15:10 – in 2008. Falcon star runner Claire Collison, now found at Stanford, logged the seventh fastest time – 17:33 – in 2007.
The CVHS Falcon girls proved themselves to be a team to reckon with at Clovis. Sixth position played out to be most significant and ranked the CV girls behind the San Clemente team. Running in the Extra Large Division 1, junior Cali King took 13th (19:13) with second position nabbed by freshman Megan Melnyk who placed 14th (19:14) and Ali Johnson grabbing 23rd (19:24).
“The girls had a great battle with San Clemente,” Evans said of the meet. “They are a very good team. Any time we can be that close to San Clemente it is a good race. We had a very good pack with our first six runners in the top 48 … about a 30 second gap between our first and fifth runners. Everyone ran very well.”
Crescenta Valley came in second at 103 behind San Clemente. San Clemente won with a score of 103 also but was awarded first place based on a better finish of sixth place runner.
The frosh/soph race 7 proved to be another exciting victory for CV. Young Erika Johnson won first place with 19:33 – an admirable win since this was only her second race of the season.
“It was a great effort,” Evans said of Johnson’s win.
The CV boys also chose to run in the Extra Large Division 1 race rather than compete in the championship contest of the day. Senior Mike Duncan worked the course to finish with a ninth place win (16:09) while sophomore Gabe Collison placed 23rd (17:54).
“The boys ran a very good race,” said Evans. “Mike was very competitive in the varsity race. It was important for him to score in the top 10. We had a very good pack to help us get third place.”
CV scored 179 behind first place Davis Senior with 137 and El Rancho 172.