By Leonard COUTIN
The Falcon varsity boys claimed a strong victory when they hosted the first non-scoring tri-meet at CV Park on Thursday. Each year running against Newbury Park and Camarillo high schools proves to be a very competitive meet for the Falcons in the early season.
From the beginning of the race, CV junior Colin FitzGerald took a commanding lead ahead of the pack and continued to advance until the finish. FitzGerald came to the meet with two strong seasons under his belt and gained some important experience running in last year’s CIF State Cross-country Final, showing a commitment to be the man to be reckoned with on the course. This commitment was even more evident when FitzGerald won the contest with a time of 16:02.09, while teammate sophomore Manan Vats, who had a promising first season last year, captured an important second place (16:32.09). Vats was followed by junior teammate Artin Allahverdian (16:40.22).
CV Head Coach Mark Evans looked pleased at the end of the first meet.
“We are impressed with the boys’ performance. It is what we thought they could run,” Evans said. “Colin ran under control and followed the race plan, which was to run controlled the first half of the race and pick a spot to go in the last part. The boys are focused and working with purpose each day.”
The Falcon cross-country team recognized assistance from Rob Evans, Brett Harvey, Alex Lowe and James Keshavarz. They focused on bringing out the best in each of the athletes.
Mark Pizza scored the first point for Camarillo when he placed fourth running a time of 16:46.62, while CV junior Neil Logan moved up the ranks to score fifth (16:52.03) followed by junior teammate Zach Johnson, who scored the last important point for the team running a time of 16:55.59. Camarillo junior Spencer Gravel grabbed seventh running 17:01.03.
Newbury Park, which is used to running a flat course, settled for the next three places; first man for the team was senior Ethan Duffy taking eighth, followed by junior Nathaniel Garner (17:06.00) and sophomore Ethan Ronk 17:28.09). CV senior John Yoon, who showed much promise on the track last season, placed 11th running 17:34.28 and teammate Kevin Faeustle took 12th (17:36.91).
Final score: CV 17, Newbury Park 54 and Camarillo 59.
The Falcon girls missed the leadership of graduate Grace McAuley who will join the UCLA Bruins this year. Young Falcon sprinter sophomore Melissa Owens surprised the field by capturing the first spot for the Falcon girls running eighth in a time of 21.54.44. Newbury’s Nicole Burch took the win with a time of 20:21.06 while Camarillo captured the next three places; senior Kylee Yturralde placed second (20:28.91), senior Christine Robins placed third (21:02.56), and junior Sophia Cortina scored an important fourth running 21:11.69. Newbury’s Rachel Brown ran 21:34.41 taking fifth but Camarillo stepped back up to claim sixth by junior Fallon Price who scored the needed points to put Camarillo ahead in the meet.
Final score: Camarillo 22, Newbury Park 36 and CV 74.
Coach Evans praised his girls’ first meet.
“The girls are young and getting better every day. We are really happy with where they are right now,” he said. “The girls come to practice focused and ready to work each day. They can see how that is paying off for them. They will only get stronger and faster.”