Falcon Boys Wrap Up Cross-Country Season


By Leonard COUTIN

On Saturday, the CIF state cross-county championship finals held its 33rd annual competition in Fresno at picturesque Woodward Park. The Division II girls’ races started at 8:30 a.m. and the boys’ Division I race was the last race of the day starting at 1 p.m.   

The anxiety of waiting to run late in the afternoon brought challenges to the Falcon team. The boys knew that every point mattered and that an effort by each team member was needed to post high in the standings.

Falcon lead runner, senior Dylan Wilbur, ran his first mile in 4:37.9 staying as close as he could to the lead pack.

The second mile is a bigger challenge, run on the back end of the course with its switchback path. It brings runners back through the first mile to the finish line chute. Wilbur was not with the top 10 runners when they appeared coming down the hill for the final lap. Wilbur scored 17th running 15:29.0 into the chute.

Senior Eric Faeustle was determined to regain his second man status and stayed as close to Wilbur as possible. Faeustle scored 28th running a time of 15:40.5. Teammates Max Burton scored 49th (15:57.3), Rowan FitzGerald 66th, (16:11.8) and fifth man Chris Cubias scored 78th running 18:16:18.8. The final CV runners were Bryce Bitetti, 96th (16:32.6) and Jack Myers, 88th, (16:26.8). The team placed ninth.

Under the direction of Coach Kathryn Nelson, the Burbank boys passed through the CIF prelims to rate fourth coming into the CIF finals. The tallies shown in the Division 1 race rated the Burbank boy’s fifth overall. Burbank senior Victor Goli led his team posting 10th running 15:20.7. Teammate Anthony Chiarvalle scored 26th (15:39.7). The team finished fifth.

CV Coach Mark Evans said reflected on the Falcons’ season.

“We are proud of all that we accomplished this season … second in CIF Division 1 is something no other CV team has done since 1981 when that team won the CIF championship. We have qualified for the state meet three consecutive years. We’re always finishing in the top 10 in our division,” he said. “We did not have the race we wanted with a ninth place finish but we did run the third fastest team time for CV at Woodward Park and all of the runners set PRs on the course. We have five of our top seven and nine of our top 11 return next year. We have a great group. We look forward to a great track season and returning to the state meet for a fourth consecutive year.”

Final top 10 team scores: Great Oak 46, Jesuit-SJS 144, Bellarmine–CCS 145, Dublin-NCS 159, Burbank–SS 181, Clovis–CS 197, Roosevelt-SS 199, Amador Valley-NCS 230, CV 230 and Davis-SJS 248