Freshman Boys Cross Country Places Second in Nationwide Meet


Jack O'Connor

Runners for the boys cross country Freshman team, Dylan Calkins, Zach Ward, and Brandon Sotelo, begin their warm-up laps before practice.

Gabby Laurente, Staff Writer

The freshmen boys cross country team placed second in a race against 400 teams across 16 different states. 

After winning the Laguna Hills Invitational, they were considered by many to be the best freshman team in Orange County. On September 21st, the team traveled to the Woodbridge Invitational in Norco, California. SJHHS was one of the few exclusive teams invited to the three-mile race, one of the biggest meets in the country.

All freshmen boys teams compete in two separate divisions: blue and gold. The divisions are separated by class size, so students are matched against similarly sized schools. SJHHS is in the gold division, made up of 38 teams.

The freshmen boys had a very successful meet, finishing in second place with a total score of 189. Points are scored based on the combined places of the top 5 runners belonging to each team, with the goal being to get the least amount of points.

Two runners, Juan Ramirez and Cooper Yartz, had been injured and were not able to compete at Woodbridge. 

“Two of our top runners had some health issues which set us back in a couple of subsequence meets,” said Coach Robert Price. 

Yet, out of a total of 397, three of the team’s runners placed in the top 30.

All should be healthy for the Orange County championships in two weeks

— Price

Dylan Calkins, Fernando Cortez, and David Engle led the way to the finish line. Along with those three, Gavin Lynde and Landon Waller also finished in the top 15 of boys from SJHHS who competed at Woodbridge. It is very rare for a freshman to earn one of the top 15 times in the whole school, yet this year many have achieved it.

The freshmen team this year has proven to be very impressive, one of the best teams the school has seen in years. Coaches are very excited to see where they will go this year.

“All should be healthy for the Orange County championships in two weeks,” Price said. 

The championships will take place on October 19th. Competing against all teams in Orange County, this should answer the question of who really is the best of the best.