Truckee cross-country: Runners continue to improve at Folsom meet
Truckee will compete Saturday in the 42nd Annual Stanford Invitational, one of the largest cross-country meets in Northern California. There they will have an opportunity to compete against similar-sized California schools (Division 4, with enrollments of 600-1,150), as well as cheer on last year’s cross-country team captains Skyler Flora and Noah Oberriter, who are both scheduled to participate in the collegiate races.
The Truckee cross-country squads both registered strong performances at their first sea level meet of the season at the 11th Annual Josh Ruff Memorial Trojan Invitational on the challenging Willow Hills course adjacent to Folsom High School.
The girls placed fourth in a field of 23 teams with 139 points. Vacaville took top honors with 55 points. Truckee’s boys placed ninth in a field of 27 teams with a score of 264, with Sheldon (Elk Grove) winning with a score of 72.
In a field of 189 runners, scoring points for the Truckee girls team were Carrie Bradley in 18th (21:17), Amanda Rae in 29th (22:03), Lily Robertson in 30th (22:07), Claire Lang-Ree in 33rd (22:24) and Julia Veliquette in 39th (22:35).
“Overall, the girls ran together as a team with our lowest time gap of the season, 1:18 between runner one through five,” said Truckee coach Rob McClendon. “We will continue to narrow our time gap to under a minute to give us a better chance at defending our state title.”
McClendon is also impressed by the ever-changing finishing order of the top girls. Rae, a junior and third-year veteran, placed a career-best second within the team at Folsom. “Amanda had a great race, improving her position on the strong girls team.”
The field of boys varsity runners numbered nearly 300. McClendon deemed Hudson Verbeck’s 20th-place finish as “his best race of the season,” with a time of 17:52.
The next four scorers for Truckee all achieved personal records at the 5K distance: Ian Smith in 31st (18:16), Ryan Murphy in 58th (18:59), Jordan Guldman in 91st (19:50) and Calin Laine in 102nd (20:07).
Three of the five scorers for the Truckee boys team are running prep cross-country for the first time, including Murphy, a senior and team captain.
“Ryan is improving every race,” McClendon said. “It’s extremely difficult to be great at cross-country running your first time out, but he is overcoming challenges very quickly.”
Guldman and Laine are both freshman. “Jordy and Calin both ran a great race,” McClendon said. “It’s pretty amazing how much all the younger athletes are improving over a short amount of time.”
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— This article was submitted to Sports Editor Sylas Wright at firstname.lastname@example.org.