Island sports: Alameda High School women’s cross-country
By Chris Carlson
The young runners of the Alameda women’s cross country team led their varsity team to an eighth-place finish in the medium schools race at the Asics Clovis Cross Country Invitational on October 8, on the same Woodward Park course that will host the CIF State Championships next month.
In a field of 162 runners, freshman Sonia Xu finished the 5000m course 33rd with a time of 20:36. She was followed closely by sophomore Kelly Hosokawa in 36th (20:42). Junior Irene Xu placed 51st (20:59), followed by freshman Andrea Nguyen in 58th (21:07) and Mariko Stenstedt in 66th (21:35) to close out their scoring five. Junior Lindsi Tu was 68th (21:38) and junior Courtney Winterbauer, 118th (23:07), rounding out the team’s placing.
Veteran women’s coach Bruce Hicks was thrilled with the results. A significant improvement in times from the returning sophomore and juniors along with an upwelling of freshman talent is really starting to move this team forward. Not only did the team move up from a 16th place finish last year, it saw a significant improvement in times. This year’s total and average times on that course (1:44:59, 20:59) really jumped away from the 2009 times (1:57:10, 23:26).
Veterans Kelly, Irene and Lindsi continue to improve, while Sonia and her fellow freshmen are also really making an impact this season. Coach Hicks remarked that these top Alameda women are also finding their way in the school’s record books, with six of the seven participants in this race making it onto the all-time list for that course.
Close pack running has benefited this group, especially the freshmen and sophomores. The frosh/soph team finished fifth at the Lowell Invite in San Francisco, second at RAM in Daly City and first at Artichoke in Half Moon Bay.
With more than half the season behind them, improving times and a taste of some success in ever bigger meets, this young team could prove very interesting to watch as they continue to prepare for their ACCAL League and North Coast Section Championships in November.