Published November 30th, 2016
Campo Boys Cross Country Team Finishes 3rd at State
By Karl Buscheck
Kyle Flett Photos Gint Federas
A week after winning their fourth consecutive North Coast Section Division 3 title, the Campolindo boys cross country team finished third overall at the CIF State meet at Woodward Park in Fresno on Nov. 26.
"The boys team is really a homegrown team," said head coach Chuck Woolridge. "All of these boys are kids that came into our program with no prior experience running and really developed over the course of their time with us into quality, high-caliber athletes."
Senior Jared Yabu - the Cougars' No. 1 runner - was Campolindo's top finisher in both races, placing 22nd at State and finishing as the runner-up at the NCS meet at Hayward High School on Nov. 19.
At the State meet, the team's first five runners all finished between 22nd and 46th place, as the Cougars continued to demonstrate a remarkable ability to run in a tight pack. During the NCS race, the Cougars ran second, sixth, seventh, eighth and 16th.
"Having five guys in the top 16 like that, you'd have to go back to our 2008 team to find a lineup that was as good on that particular day," said Woolridge. "These guys are perhaps the best performing team we've ever had at NCS."
After Yabu, the group included seniors Raymond Diaz, Niki Moore, Kyle Flett and Navid Boozarpour.
"The depth of our team - with athletes like Kyle Flett and Niki Moore - really showed up (at Hayward)," Woolridge said. "For Kyle and Ni ki to finish right behind Ray, our natural No. 2, that was really what bolstered the win."
Miramonte senior Jonathan Fierro - the lone Miramonte Matador in the field at Woodward Park - ran in 11th place in the D4 race at State. Fierro earned his trip to Fresno by finishing fourth overall in the NCS D4 competition.
"He's been consistent all year long," head coach Brian Henderson said. "He's just been phenomenal as our No. 1 (runner). He ran up front with the big boys (at NCS) and he hung around as long as he could."
While Fierro qualified as an individual, the Mats squad missed out on a team berth by a single spot after landing in fourth place at Hayward.
"It was a little bittersweet," Henderson admitted. "They were a little disappointed. We had a couple of guys who were not where we thought they'd be. Sometimes that just happens."
On a day when the Mats ended up 24 points off the final qualifying spot, an untimely injury also impacted the team's overall finish. Three weeks before taking the starting line in Hayward, Miramonte lost its No. 3 runner - junior Duran Reyes - to injury.
The Dons, who were running in the D3 competition, also failed to advance to State, but still managed to end the season on a high note.
"No doubt about it, for the boys, NCS was our best race of the year," co-head coach Michael Maloney said.
As had been the case throughout the DAL schedule, senior Zachary Woodworth was the frontrunner for the Dons, running in 34th place at the NCS meet. While Woodworth set a steady tone for the team, one of the most encouraging aspects of the year was that a slew of unexpected contributors emerged for the Dons.
No runner better fits that description than Nick Hutson, the Don's fifth-place runner in Hayward.
"Nick Hutson was a great surprise," Maloney said. "He's a freshman and he did very well at NCS. I believe it was his best race of the season. Hopefully (he) can continue to develop going into next season."
Navid Boozarpour
Jonathon Fierro

Reach the reporter at:

Copyright Lamorinda Weekly, Moraga CA