By Leonard COUTIN
On Thursday, the CV Falcons boys and girls varsity and the boys JV cross-country teams dominated the terrain at a nonleague triangular meet on their home course. They posted one, two and three position wins over the young Newbury Park team and the Camarillo Scorpions team.
CVHS senior Gabe Collison, who qualified last year to run in the state cross country championship, returned from a very successful track season and summer camp with the hope of being a contender again at CIF State finals this year. Running over 33 seconds faster than his teammates with a time of 15:26, he took control of the race from the start. Fellow CV senior Nick Beatty placed second (15:59) and Falcon Matt Manalo took third (16:00). Beatty and Manalo come into the season having demonstrated exceptional speed last track season running the 800, the mile, the two-mile and the mile relay. Both of these athletes will assist in putting the squeeze on the season’s competition.
“Gabe and the boys ran very well,” said CV Head Coach Mark Evans. “I was glad to see that our 2 to 5 runners were very close. They have all worked very hard this summer and it is good for them to get a chance to race. It was the first race so we just wanted to see what we were capable of.”
Newbury Park sophomore Logan Beteta took the first position for his team placing fourth (16:14) followed by the Falcons capturing the next four places. CV runners Matt Owens placed fifth (16:32), followed by Manav Vats (16:47), Adam Rowton (16:56) and Andrew Hart (17:00). Final varsity team score was CV 17, Newbury Park 52, and Camarillo 70.
For the Falcon girls, from the start of the race they too took a commanding lead and worked successfully together throughout the entire course. Now a junior, CV runner Megan Melnyk comes to the track after running the 800m in the CIF Master Meet with a commitment to unite as team member with Haley Witzeman. She brings young runner Rebecca Mencia into their inner circle, producing a triple bond performance.
“Megan and the girls ran well,” said Evans. “I am glad to see them finish as a group. They are capable of running, faster but they did not have to on Thursday. We will get stronger as the season goes on. We have to build our confidence.”
Melnyk placed first (20:00.1), followed by sophomore Mencia (20:00.5), and junior Witzeman (20:00.7). Newbury Park senior Rachel Dean tucked behind the Falcon runners to take fourth (20:02) with teammate Swathi Samual placing fifth (20:32). Camarillo’s Kylee Yturralde placed sixth (20:41). Final varsity team score CV 40, Camarillo 44 and Newbury Park 45.
The Falcon CV junior varsity scored a victory capturing the first four places to win the meet. Senior Connor Witzeman won first place with a time of 17:20. Sophomore Robert McNelis captured second (17:21), followed by sophomore Philip Thomas (17:29). Junior Jason Crosthwaite snagged fourth place. CV runners placed eighth, ninth, 10th, and 11th as well. The final score was CV 15, Newbury Park 55, and Camarillo 70.