King City Comes Runners Up at the Stanford Invitational

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King City Comes Runners Up at the Stanford Invitational

KCHS coaches and runners

KCHS coaches and runners

KCHS coaches and runners

KCHS coaches and runners

Daniel Correa, Reporter

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Stanford University Golf Course – On September 29 th , 2018 the King City High School varsity boys cross country team competed against their CCS division and others at the Stanford invitational 5k held at the Stanford University Golf Course.  The King City varsity boys earned a
close second place finish, out of 28 schools, scoring a total of 123 points and an average time of 16:52, with first place Scotts Valley scoring a 70 point win with an average time of 16:30, and Sacred Heart Prep earning third place with 185 points with an average time of 17:09.

The King City boys varsity cross country team was led by returning veteran Esteban “Peman” Deniz (junior) placing 7th overall out of 195 runners with a time of 16:10. Coming second for the King City Mustangs was Veteran Fausto Medina (senior) placing 26th place overall with a time of 16:54. Coming right behind him was veteran Daniel Correa (senior) placing third for KCHS, and 29th overall with a time of 16:57. Placing fourth for King City and 32nd overall was new runner Mario Avila (sophomore) with a time of 17:01. King City’s fifth runner was veteran Ricardo “Ricky” Diaz (junior) who placed 47th overall with a time of 17:17. Placing sixth for King
City and 71st over all was new runner Peter Avila (junior) with a time of 17:44. The seventh runner for King City was Josh Riley (sophomore) placed 75th over all with a time of 17:50.

Some days leading up to the Stanford meet, coach Paul Cavanagh held a little meeting with the varsity team explaining the competition and how they would hold up against them. Coach Cavanagh said, “There is going to be a lot of competition over there at Stanford. But our main team we have to try to beat is Scott’s Valley because they are in our CCS division and we can see how we hold against them.” Coach Cavanagh told the team that he believes that there was a chance that they were able to win the invitational, however it would be close and they would have to “step up and go for it.”

After the race I interviewed a few of runners of KCHS and the top runner, Deniz, and asked him asked how he felt placing top ten in a big race like the Stanford Invitational. He stated, “Honestly, I was very proud of myself because not a lot of people can say they placed top ten at Stanford. But I was more proud of my team, even though we unfortunately did not win the race, we placed second and we went out to compete and stood our ground and ran hard.” I asked King City’s second finisher, Medina, about the competition at the Stanford Invitational and if it is what he expected to see at this race. He responded “The people running were tough!  Like I knew they were fast but these guys were tough. Even though I placed pretty good the guys in front of me were too fast, and the guys who I beat were strong runners as well because they were right behind me the whole race.”

Since the race was held at Stanford University Golf Course, I asked first year runner Avila how this course compared to the other races. Avila answered, “Well it is pretty flat so the course was easy. But the hard part was the runners. Since there aren’t hills, the other teams don't die out as quick as they would in a tough cross country course so they could keep up and go faster. Also this course was new so most of the team was confused on where to go and when to speed up and start passing as many people as we can.”

One varsity runner, Diaz, had been out for 3 weeks due to medical reasons. He had his first comeback race so I asked him how he felt to be back and how much did the “break” affect him. Diaz stated, “Man I love that I’m able to run again. Being out for that long felt like I was getting left behind in times because everyone got faster from the beginning of the season. However, in this race I was able to show that I was still able to compete. However I slowed down because I lost a lot of conditioning from the ‘break’ but I pushed myself for the team.”

After the race, I asked coach Cavanagh his thoughts on the varsity cross country team’s overall performance and if there were individual runners who stood out to him. He said that the team did an outstanding job, and that it is unfortunate that King City could not win, however runners like Deniz, Correa and Diaz had a great race for different reasons. Deniz did well for running low times and getting close to a 16:00. Cavanagh recognized Correa for getting a “breakthrough race and regaining confidence to run with the big dogs.” Diaz stood out for pushing himself after not being able to run for a few weeks.

As of October 10 th , 2018 the KCHS boy’s cross country team has won four out of six meets that they have ran. They are currently undefeated in the Pacific Coast Athletic League (PCAL) Mission Division by placing first in the two PCAL Center Meets and placing first at the 20th Annual Chieftain Invitational and the First Annual Jackie Henderson Memorial Invitational. Be sure to support the mustangs for future meets such as the Monterey Bay Invitational (October 13th) and the Gabilan/Mission PCAL Center Meet (October 17th), both held at Toro Park Salinas. Also, wish them luck as they make their way to the Mt. Sac Invitational (October 20th) and the PCAL Championships (October 27th) at Toro Park!