Friday, September 9, 2011

A Day at the Races...

…and what a day it was! The 2011 cross country season started off with a bang on a hot day at Tama Hills. Humid, with highs approaching 88˚F (31˚C), today felt like a return to mid-August—slightly warmer than the ideal climate for running.

Despite the sweltering heat, the CAJ teams started strong. Though we lost to St. Mary's and Seisen, there were a number of strong individual performances worth noting! The returning Middle School boys all matched or improved on their PRs from the previous season, and the newcomers had a strong first showing. Special mention goes to Kenji J, 7th grade, who placed 30th with a time of 15:22 on the 3.3K course, and Callum M, (also grade 7) who placed 55th with a time of 16:39.

Though there are only two middle school girls running this year, the girls, both 6th graders, had an outstanding showing this morning in their cross country debut. Ha Eun K. placed 17th with an impressive time of 17:20 on the 3.3K course (a time that would put her in the middle of the pack at the high school varsity level!) and Angela L. placed 52nd with a respectable time of 19:45.

The high school girls showed a high level of energy and promise, with three girls, Junior Ria K, Sophomore Misaki N, and Sophomore Runa S finishing 14th with a time of 15:41, 16th with a time of 15:51, and 19th with a time of 19:46, respectively, on the 3.3K course.

Compared to last year, the high school boys had the toughest act to follow, as the 2010 team (comprised of some very talented runners who have since graduated), won the Far East tournament. The make-up of the current team is almost completely different, with only several boys returning. Veteran runner Tsubasa K, Junior, led the team, placing 7th with a time of 16:31 on the 4.4K course. Newcomer Ryan H, Junior, placed 13th with a time of 17:27 in his cross-country debut, and newcomer Kye A, Sophomore, placed 17th with a time of 17:55 in his debut.

I’m extremely appreciative of the positive attitudes and hard work displayed by the runners today, and I am eager to watch each of them set goals and improve over the course of the season. Otsukaresama and Godspeed!

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