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King Cross Country:Race Results 2017

King Cross Country

Friday, December 22
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2017 Season Yearbook 

 

 

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Sunday, December 3
SEASON TIMES

Sunday, December 3
GREAT EXPECTATIONS MET AND MISSED AT NATIONALS
NXN 2017
Expectations. Whether they are internal or pressed upon them by others, they are the luggage athletes carry throughout their careers. The best carry them well, or they learn to do so over time.

Expectations of all variety accompany some 400 athletes to Portland, Oregon every December as Nike presents the National Championship (NXN) for cross country. For many, perhaps, they come to the Nike World Headquarters looking forward to gorging themselves on the experience. They expect to enjoy the feast of Nike gear they’ll be given; they look forward to the chance to meet world-class athletes and be treated like kings and queens is enough to satisfy many. Others may fly into Portland expecting a great race against the best in the country. Swag or no swag, their goal is to race fast and finish high.

Having earned the right to compete at NXN last season, Lauren Peurifoy was well aware of the treat she was in line for and so was giddy with excitement over the festivities the weekend is packed full with. But there was also a personal expectation to race well. In 2016, she finished 25th at NXN, just 4 tantalizing places out of All American honors. So here in 2017, she carried two goals: Have fun, make new friends, meet a few Olympians yes, … but when the spikes go on at the course Saturday morning, the expectation was to run well and earn that All American honor she fell just short of in 2016.

Typical, she had fun and a lot of it. With a roommate from New Hampshire and a few new California teammates to get to know, the smiles and kinetic energy were revealing a young athlete in her element. Given her experience and personality, she was asked by runnerspace.com to be their social media insider for the weekend, posting for the outlet on their Snapchat account.

Unfortunately, the latter part of her weekend expectations didn’t go as she hoped. The course was muddy and soft after three days of rain and even with half-inch spikes on, she found the going difficult. “I got off to a bad start” she said afterward, speckled and streaked by wet Oregon mud. “By the first left-turn, I was just crammed into the pack.”

That pack consisted of 199 athletes, 45 of whom were running as “individual” competitors from their respective regions. Lauren was one of 5 California runners selected from the California State Championships a week earlier. Perhaps it was the hard effort of that race seven days prior that had an impact on how she felt in this final race of the year as she described the intense burn that normally comes in later stages of a race having arrived as early as 1000 meters into the 5000 meter race. “It was hard to keep going” she said later.

Gamely she did though, putting every drop of energy she had left to get across the line in 50th place, a disappointment for the competitive junior.

But disappointment and adversity are also part of what athletes carry through their careers, and, interestingly, its these things that often create new and more eager expectations for the future, along with the drive to meet them.

Knowing Lauren, that desire for 2018 had already started growing in her, even before the mud on her had begun to dry.

Results        Photos



Sunday, November 26
A HAPPY ENDING AT STATE AS GIRLS FINISH 6TH
state team 2017

The California State Finals for cross country is a grand event with the 23 best teams from each of the 10 CIF sections competing in just five divisions. For King's girls team, racing in Division 1, the trip to Fresno was a repeat of the one they took in 2016, and when it was finished, they repeated the sixth place finish as well.

The great finish for the team met a goal to finish sixth, improving on their pre-race ranking of 9th.  It was also the final chapter is a story that did not follow a typical path, but nevertheless ended up in a happy ending.

After a season filled with uncertainty and injuries to key contributers, almost everything came together finally as the team roared through league finals, winning the league's last race despite finishing third in the two previous races.  At CIF Prelims, the group again clicked, then in a thrilling CIF Finals, they finished fifth - the program's highest finish ever - and punched their ticket to State with the official prognosticator's predicting a 9th place conclusion.

It wasn't to be though as the group of seven raced with poise in the field of nearly 200 runners and battled for every spot of that sixth place finish. 

Lauren Peurifoy again led, with a chance at winning the race outright.  The runner up in 2016, she faced a field of racers that was much deeper in talent and experience this year, forcing a fight that got her across the line in 5th place overall.  It was one of the toughest competitions the Junior has faced in her career.  She was the 8th fastest runner on the entire day, all five races combined, and that earned her an invitation to compete in the Nike Cross National meet to be held next weekend in Portland, Oregon. 

Though competing in just her first season of cross, KaryLee Taylor again looked like she's been doing this for each of her three years of high school!  Again, she race with toughness and poise, moving up nicely over the last half of the 3.1 mile race to finish just a few seconds off the time she posted on the course in early October when the team competed at the Clovis Invitational.  She was 60th at the mile and finished 46th by the time she finished.

Kela Mavhera, who patiently endured a nagging injury that kept her from racing until the middle of October, made up for lost time during the post-season by contributing mightily to King's turn-around. At this race, she again finished third for the team and on a personal level, perhaps felt some vindication for the lost races of 2017 as she bettered the time she ran at State in 2016 by three seconds.  Allison Janes capped off her senior year with a satisfying scoring effort in the race, finishing in 4th for the Lady Wolves and moving up 23 places over the last mile of the race.  Joan Green who, like KaryLee was running in just her first cross country season, also scored to help the secure the high finish for the team.

Amanda Sosa, who has battled a painful sciatic nerve inflamation for a month, gamely gave everything she had, but fell back into the sixth spot.  Little did she know however that through the fifth scorer, King was tied with Canyon Crest Academy of San Diego.  The tie is broken by the team with the faster sixth place runner.  Two places behind Amanda was CCA's sixth, and so the place went to King.  Joelle Ramos was the seventh and final runner for King, and in her final race, Joelle closed out her career at King with a solid 20:22 time.  Serving admirably in a supportive role were Carissa Avila, Jenna Bernath and Sydney Magno, who, while they didn't get the opportunity to race this post-season, were enthusiastic and lended a positive attitude to the three weeks of training and racing.

Advancing to the State Championships, especially out of the hyper-competitive Southern Section D1 is never an easy task.  For the King girls who have now achieved the feat in two successive years, finishing sixth both rounds, it's an impressive accomplishment.  Which makes for another happy ending. 

Results    Photo Gallery 



Saturday, November 18
GIRLS WRITE A NEW STORY, WILL FINISH it IN FRESNO AGAIN
After what most considered somewhat of a fairy-tale 2016 season that produced an unheralded team that eventually finished sixth at the State Championship, the 2017 story line has been of a different sort. With several new faces to the team, youth, inexperience and injury, the path to CIF Finals on Saturday morning was anything but a smooth one with a foregone conclusion.

But that’s exactly where the girls from King found themselves Saturday morning at the COF Southern Section Finals. Despite the circuitous route the season’s story took, with chapters written with the ink of tears and adversity, they arrived at the course with a decent chance to get back to Fresno for the State Final. Pre-race projections had them sitting in the 7th or 8th spot in a field of 24 teams in a race in which only the top seven advance to State.

All week one could see it in their faces, in the way they trained and talked: “Who cares how the first chapters went, this story isn’t over!” seemed to be their collective mindset.

At the half-way mark, the score splashed up on the jumbo tron showed the Lady Wolves in 5th place. Lauren Peurifoy was leading the field, scorching the first mile at 5:12 and pulling the vast field of 200+ runners along on a torrid pace. A miscue on the path would open up the door for her nearest competitors to slip by and she would go on to finish in third, one spot off the place she took in 2016.

Behind her, Kela Mavhera was racing with her usual aggressive style as King's second scorer. But at the mile, King's 3-5 scorers found themselves stuck in traffic a bit. KaryLee Taylor, a junior but in her first season of cross made a dramatic move over the second half, making up 26 places in that span. Another rookie, sophomore Joan Green was apparently watching and taking notes as she too made bold moves in the final 2K to gobble up 22 places. Amanda Sosa, who valiantly charged forth in the opening half despite a nagging injury, still hung on well to finish the scoring for the team. Allison Janes and Joelle Ramos both ran well to finish 6-7 for the squad. That fifth place score held to the end and the team punched their ticket to State.

That mid-race score would prove informative at the end of the race, and the 48 points made up by Taylor and Green stood tall. Dana Hills would be 7th and the last qualifier to State, but they finished just 15 points behind King. 16 points was the difference between 5th and not qualifying! Two big moves by two rookies over the last 2 miles proved to be a significant part of the story.

History is also part of the story. This will be the third girls team from King to earn passage to the State Finals, but it's the first squad to "repeat the feat" following that Cinderella story of last year. Their fifth-place finish at CIF Finals is also the highest finish in program history. 

With one week and one big race to go, there's still time to put the finishing touches on the story of 2017. While it's different from last year's edition, this one too will end in Fresno.

But that's OK, because everyone loves happy endings..

Results   Photo Gallery



Friday, November 10
PRELIMS BRINGS ANTICIPATION, SOONER AND LATER

Some ten miles from King High is the new home of the CIF Championships. Now in it's third season on a course created as an alternative to the historic Mt.SAC, the venue is beginning to create a bit of history of its own.

On Friday morning, teams from across Southern California assembled to earn the right to compete at the CIF Finals on November 18. For King, it was a chance to return to Finals after both the boys' and girls' squads completed the "two-fer" in 2016.

The girls took to the line first and raced exceedingly well. Out front was Lauren Peurifoy who cruised to the win against last year's D1 Champion, Chloe Arriaga of Walnut. Peurifoy's 16:36 time for the 3 miles set the new course Division 1 record and also lowered her own school record for the distance by 10 seconds. "I felt great" she said with a smile after the race was over. Arriaga was second - a reversal of places the two stars had in last year's Finals - and a finish order for this year that Lauren will likely spend this next week anticipating.

The girls team finished second behind Great Oak and ran the second-fastest team time (cumulative marks of the first five finishers) in school history. Their place in the top 8 teams earns them the right to return to CIF Finals. It will be the team's 13th trip to CIF Finals in the 19 seasons of King High's history.

Kela Mavhera continued to improve after missing much of the season with an injury; she raced a brisk 18:16 time, almost 45 seconds faster than she ran on the course three weeks ago. KaryLee Taylor was two places behind her. Joan Green – a rookie sophomore – was outstanding, finishing fourth for the Lady Wolves in 39th place. Allison Janes, Amanda Sosa and Joelle Ramos rounded out the team that will look to advance to the State meet with another high finish (top 7 qualify) next week.

The boys went home disappointed with a 12th place finish and the official end to their season. However, there were many bright spots under the gray sky. Three freshmen were among the seven on the line, along with 2 juniors. With a senior in his rookie season, six of the seven racers had never experienced this level of competition, so it was a great learning experience for all of them and one that will pave the way for a different ending in 2018. The freshmen were standouts, with Francisco Zavaleta and Edgar Ortega racing like they’d been there before, followed closely by Malachi Cabanilla. They all ran personal records, Zavaleta was just 4 seconds from the fastest freshman time in school history at 16:04. Ortega was at 16:05 and Cabanilla crossed in 16:21. Of the five fastest freshmen in the entire race of 150 finishers, King had 2 of them! All of King’s 9th graders scored for the team, a tremendous showing and a beacon of what can be for this group should they continue to work hard, work together and aim for a big future. Junior, Garrett Vasta was the leading runner for King and Mitchell Machuca also scored for the team. Austin Fortenberry and Mazin Awad rounded out the team.

It would be easy to say that it was a “bitter sweet” day for King, but a bigger picture would say otherwise. The team of boys is young – almost a frosh-soph team really on this day – and yet they are forming a team that could, reasonably, make a run at CIF Finals in 2018. For the girls, their Finals will be next week, and so the program moves forward with anticipation of good things to come. Sooner, and later.

Results:    Girls     Boys 

Riverside City Course All Time List 
 
Photo Gallery

 



Thursday, November 2
HIGHS AND LOWS TELL THE STORY OF BIG 8 FINALS
The season of 2017 as it’s been written for the girls cross country team from King has been one of missed opportunities and adversity. Bitten by an injury to one of their top scorers and felled in the first two league races by an asthma attack that caused another scoring runner to drop from the races, the team finished an uncustomary third-place in those contests and just couldn’t seem to get on solid ground.

In fact, after the second sub-par finish three weeks ago, there was discussion about the stark reality that a CIF berth was in jeopardy if the trend continued.

(Read the Press Enterprise article along with photos here)

All of that changed on Wednesday at Eastvale Community Park over a flat, 5K course for the Big 8 League Finals. The girls stormed out to a commanding 27-49 advantage over Santiago at the mid-way mark. Santiago, undefeated to this point in the season, was able to get back only one of those 24 points as King would win the final race by a score of 29 to Santiago’s 52, Roosevelt’s 61 and Centennial’s 93. Norco finished 5th overall.

Lauren Peurifoy remained undefeated herself at the league level for the second straight year, earning and defending her individual title and League MVP honor.

So the drama was playing out behind her as Kela Mavhera returned from injury and raced in the top 6 of the field the entire way. Karylee Taylor continued to impress with a 4th place overall finish. Perhaps the best race of the day came from Amanda Sosa, who battled well to finish in the top 8, an achievement that has alluded the talented junior to this point. Allison Janes wrapped up King’s scoring with a tenth-place finish. Joan Green and Joelle Ramos both finished in the top 21 places, earning Big 8 All League honors to accompany those earned by their teammates.

Peurifoy said after the race that while the team felt like “rock bottom” after their 3rd-place showing in the second league race in mid October, “we really came together and raced for each other today! I’m very proud of every one of them!”

The boys had a different result. After racing to second-place finishes the first two outings (solid results given that Roosevelt is ranked in the top ten in the country) they were not able to race with the same poise here in the Finals. They finished in 4th, just three points out of 3rd. The team will advance to CIF Prelims however on the strength of their season record … those two second-place finishes softened the blow of a disappointing league finals placing.

Sophomores Mitchell Machuca and Austin Fortenberry battled well to earn the top spots for King in 9th and 11th respectively. Austin’s mark is the seventh fastest time for a sophomore in school history. Both boys ran improved times on the course from when the teams first raced at Eastvale back in mid-September. Garret Vasta was third for the Wolves, but the fantastic Freshman Francisco Zavaleta again proved his mettle in the 4-spot for the team and an All League patch in 21st overall. Chris Barba, Mazin Awad and Daniel Lopez rounded out the squad. “You’re going to have your ups and downs” Machuca said of the team finish following the race. He should know, he was 28th in the JV race in the 2016 Big 8 Finals.

The JV teams performed really well, led by the team win from the boys. At one point the Wolves had a pack that took all of the 2-7 spots, but some of that eroded by the finish line. Still, led by Edgar Ortega’s strong 2nd place finish – good enough for the #4 freshman time in school history, the team pulled out the victory over Roosevelt. Ortega was followed by Michael Munoz and another freshman, Malachi Cabanilla who ran his best-ever time which ranks as the #7 time in school history. Matthew Castro and Jacob Haas were the final scorers to seal the deal. 

Ashley Haring led from wire to wire in the JV girls race which helped to shrink the margin Santiago had over the girls in Race #2 from 23 points down to 6. Sydney Magno was second overall but a large gap filled by Santiago runners opened up to King’s third scorer, Victoria Gonzalez. big8finals17-19-X2Carissa Avila was a second behind her and Jenna Bernath was 15th to finish the scoring.

So it was a day of highs and lows. The girls went from the bottom (or near it) to the top while the boys varsity struggled against a tough league.

If it is true that what goes up, must come down, then perhaps the reverse is true as well. That would be something this year’s boys team could find comfort in and something the girls found out first hand.

Results: Girls Varsity     Boys Varsity    Girls JV    Boys JV

Photo Gallery

 



Monday, October 23
RIVERSIDE INVITE GROWS IN TEAMS AND PR'S
RIVERSIDE INVITE
The Riverside Invitational hosted by La Sierra and King High is only three years old, but it drew over 100 schools on Saturday from across California (and one school from Las Vegas) and the once tiny meet suddenly became a competitive spectacle.

For King, the races turned into an opportunity to run some personal records (PR) on the flat course and get one more good effort in before league finals on November 1.

While the girls’ varsity was competing at Mt.SAC, there were a few “regulars” from the varsity team that remained in Riverside and they competed well. Kela Mavhera, Joan Green and Jenna Bernath have toed the line before and they competed well at this meet … satisfying for all three as they have been either under-the-weather or injured of late. Carissa Avila had her best race of the season, maybe even her life, with a wonderful 19:40 time. Sydney Magno also dipped under 20:00 for the three-mile race. Indeed, of the 22 girls who race this morning, 13 of them went home smiling with their best race of the season. Sydney and Shelby Grossi both had PR’s as did Faith Chick and Avalon Provance. It was a meet full of excellence for the girls!

The boys weren’t going to be left out of the fun and raced quite well. Led by Garrett Vasta’s 15:27 – the fourth-fastest time by a Junior in King High’s history – the boys varsity continues to grow and improve. Mitchell Machuca and Chris Barba were 2-3 for the squad, followed by Mazin Awad and Austin Fortenberry. Freshman Francisco Zavaleta had another PR and put his name down as the second-fastest freshman at King, all time.

Michael Munoz was the top runner in the boys JV race followed by Aman Rana. Freshman Malachi Cabanilla led the boys Frosh Soph team and matched his best time of the season at 16:50, still the seventh-fastest time in school history among 9th graders. Fellow 9th grader Edgar Ortega was just a couple steps behind him with a 16:52 PR.

The Frosh-Soph boys finished 3rd overall as a team, painting a bright, optimistic future for the Wolves.

The teams will now prepare for the final race prior to the post-season, the Big 8 League Finals to be held on November 1.

RESULTS 



Sunday, October 22
POISED FOR THE POST-SEASON
Capture-2.jpg

Lining up on the start line of the 70th annual MT. SAC Invitational, on one of America's premier courses, the King Girls varsity cross country team proved they belonged there by placing a confidence-building 6th place in the Individual Sweepstakes race.

The race contains a compilation of many of the best teams on the day, a day in which a dozen or so varsity races are contested. Lauren Peurifoy led the Lady Wolves with a 2nd place finish overall, running 16:42. It was a great performance for the Junior; the 2nd fastest of all girls on the day, and good enough to put her name on the Top 30 List with the 12th fastest time in the meet's 70 year history.

Coming back from a couple days of being little under the weather, Karylee Taylor paced a very solid pack in 19:15 followed by Amanda Sosa at 20:05, Allison Janes, running injury free in 20:16, Ashlee Haring 20:38, Joelle Ramos 20:48, and running on her favorite course Skylar Smith, 21:23 admitting she did not run her a game today.

With the historic names for portions of the course, like the infamously fast Valley Loop, all-tiring Switchbacks, grueling Poop Out Hill and the never ending Reservoir Hill the King Varsity girls proved they are healthy and poised for making a strong push into post season.

RESULTS  (note: Allison Janes is listed as Sydney Magno, Joelle Ramos is listed as Jenna Bernath)



Monday, October 16
INLAND EMPIRE CHALLENGE ACCEPTED, SURPASSED
"I'm not gonna lie" said 9th grader, Edgar Ortega, "That course was challenging."

Fitting testimony perhaps, for a meet called the Inland Empire Challenge that pits the schools of Riverside County against San Bernardino County for bragging rights and All-County accolades.

And yes, they duke it out over a winding and difficult 3 mile course at the Glen Helen amphitheater that requires resolve and determination from all who toe the line. Throw in some warm temperatures and strong winds as they had on Saturday and, well, you've got yourself quite a challenge.

For King there was another layer of difficulty, as the meet was the third race in 8 days. For that reason some of the girls varsity didn't race, but that didn't stop those who did from working toward excellence regardless of uncommon lineup. Karylee Taylor was the team leader this time and finished third overall with another great performance and an "All County" award for being one of the top 7 Riverside County finishers on the day. Amanda Sosa raced well too, but the day was significant as Kela Mavhera returned to action after a season of battling an injury. She did well in her first race this season. Ashley Haring and Joelle Ramos also scored which gave the girls a third-place finish in the "varsity race" despite missing three of their normal racers.

The boys' varsity team looked good with a great pack near the front, as Garrett Vasta, Chris Barba, Mitchell Machuca, Austin Fortenberry and Mazin Awad wrapped up the scoring to earn the win for the team at the varsity level. Freshman Francisco Zavaleta didn't score but was among the top seven 9th graders on the day from the entire county and went home with hardware to display. Vasta, Machuca and Fortenberry all garnered All-County awards as well.

Third place was earned by the JV boys as well, as they raced with great integrity, despite some tired legs. Daniel Lopez, Matthew Castro and Michael Munoz crossed the line in a bunch, 5-6-7, to score low points and Connor Sharp and Brandon Villacres finished in the top 35 to give King the trophy behind Chino Hills and Great Oak.

Edgar Ortega was the top 9th grader in the frosh race, crossing in 17:52, while Brian Green was the top Wolf runner in the sophomore race. Skylar Smith led the JV girls in 19th place, while freshman Grace Lowry continued her improvement with a 21:33 finish, among the top 9 best King times on the whole day! Skye Hutchinson was the first King finisher in the sophomore girls race with a good race.

Adding to the festivities was the presence of Olympians Brenda Martinez and Boris Berian. Martinez is a UCR and Rancho Cucamonga graduate and the two elites stood for over four hours, signing autographs and posing for pictures.

Challenges, of course are part of life, and it's best to walk (or run) right into them, face them head on and see what one can do to overcome them. For the King harriers -- many of whom are in the middle of learning just how to do that -- the meet served as a tutor, requiring a faithful focus in the midst of difficulty, and for most of them, they went home knowing they had passed the test.

Results      Photo Gallery



Thursday, October 12
ALL THE COLORS OF THE BIG 8, MINUS ONE
The second race of the Big 8 season was held at Prado Park in Chino over a winding 3 mile course. Six schools, bedecked in teal, black, red, gold, navy, orange and blue uniforms made the event a colorful scene, accompanied by a musical score of excited fans screaming the lyrics of competition. It was the usual setting of a Big 8 cross country event and like usual, King found itself pressed by the quality teams in the league and when it was done, both the boys and the girls varsity found themselves teetering on the very edge of the top three places.

The boys varsity is young and inexperienced and is learning on the go. Their tutors in the league give no exceptions and left King wanting to place multiple numbers n the top 10 but a healthy group of harriers, made up of Centennial's best runner, several Mustangs from Roosevelt and a few Sharks from Santiago pushed the best of the Wolves out of that pack.

Christopher Barba, Garrett Vasta and Mitchell Machuca finished stride for stride at 9,10 and 11 and Austin Fortenberry was 14th. Not bad at all, and even with Machuca's 15:46 -- the #4 time on the sophomore all time list -- it wasn't enough to fully separate themselves. By the time those five finishers had crossed, King and Santiago were still deadlocked 64-64; leaving the tie-breaker to rookie Senior Mazin Awad. Awad beat Santiago's sixth runner, giving the nod for second place to his boys in the red, blue and silver. Also ahead of the Sharks' 6th runner was freshman Fancisco Zavaleta who ran again with great integrity and poise at the varsity level and with his 16:34 clocking, he positioned himself as the third-fastest freshman in school history over 3 miles.

Black and blue could have been the colors to describe the varsity girls from King after their race as they again were Shark bit and bucked off by some runaway Mustangs. Adversity in the form of health and injury issues struck some of their members again, and despite their State ranking, the girls fell to their league rivals for the second time this season. Just like in the first league race, King took third, one point behind Roosevelt and 10 behind Santiago. Lauren Peurifoy remained undefeated again at the league level with an easy effort. The last time a Big 8 runner has bested the hardworking junior was in either cross country or Track was the spring of her Freshman year. Newcomer, Junior KaryLee Taylor again raced with great grit and tenacity and finished third overall. Her time of 18:43 is the 7th fastest junior time of any girls in King's history! Not bad for a rookie!

The brilliant colors of tenacity and determination popped in bold hues in the boys JV race as a line of red jerseys led the entire field for most of the second half of the race. Only one Roosevelt runner with a great kick broke up the sweep. Freshman Malachi Cabanilla won by a half step over much-improved Junior Jacob Haas. Cabanilla's time is the seventh fastest frosh time in school history, and he set a 9th grade school record for a JV race. Michael Munoz, Matthew Castro and Brian Green rounded out the great race by the JV scorers in the 4-5-6 positions. The team finished second in the first round of league action, so this was a big improvement by the young squad and an example of the excellence King Cross Country aspires to achieve.

The girls JV raced well too, though they finished second behind Santiago. Joelle Ramos had an outstanding race, finishing in 3rd overall. Sydney Magno, Skylar Smith, Skye Hutchinson were a few spots behind and Victoria Gonzalez rounded out the scoring with 44 points to Santiago's 21. Freshman Grace Lowry has been faithfully training and that consistency showed itself with another PR.

Santiago's teal and black, Roosevelt's orange and blue, along with the red of Centennial and the familiar patriotic shades of King created quite a palette Wednesday afternoon. And while there is some debate as to whether white is a color, one thing is for sure: In battle, a white flag indicates surrender. And that's one color that won't be flying over the King camp any time soon.

Results      Grade Level School Records



Monday, October 9
CLOVIS, WITH A PURPOSE
CLOVIS, CA: The 39th annual Clovis Cross Country Invitational has grown in esteem and quality over it’s near-4 decade history and given that it runs on the same course that the California State Championship will be held after Thanksgiving, and that it draws many of the best teams in California and Nevada there to compete, well the meet serves as a “championship” of sorts even if it’s date precedes the actual “state championship” by nearly two months.

Yes, it’s that competitive. 200 schools, 4200 athletes, many of the top-ranked schools in the State and a few of the best squads and programs in the nation make it that way. Competing well on that stage is what King desired for its athletes, and so the program sought out the meet on purpose, hoping to gain from a mid-season “championship” preview.

Lauren Peurifoy is, actually, one of the best runners in the nation and her team is one of the best in CIF Southern Section and they took the line in the marquee “Championship Race” which pitted the best of the best. The girls did not disappoint. Lauren led for much of the race before settling in 5th, but ran a lifetime best of 17:20 over the 5K hilly course. KaryLee Taylor ran King’s 8th fastest all time on that course and gleefully medaled for her effort. Fellow junior Amanda Sosa ran a personal best by 35 seconds on the course and she was followed by Ashley Haring and Joan Green who collectively finished 12th of the 25 teams on the line and ran the second-fastest team time (cumulative times of the first five runners) that King has ever run. Mission accomplished.

Mitchell Machuca, Austin Fortenberry and Francisco Zavaleta are three underclassmen who are in the varsity group this season, so with that kind of firepower, they enhanced the Frosh Soph squad with the intended goal of a top 3 finish. That, they did with the scoring help of Brian Green and Malachi Cabanilla as they snagged the third-spot and went home with hardware to wear. Machuca came by the 2-mile in a pack of six other runners but moved away from them with a great final mile and won the race.

The boys varsity, minus the aforementioned threesome, still ran well, led by Chris Barba and Garrett Vasta who had quality performances, running the 14th and 19th fastest times on the course respectively.  Tears of joy fell from Matthew Castro’s face after the race when it sank in just how well he raced, a lifetime best time for the hard-working junior.

Carissa Avila was also “all-smiles” after her race in which she ran one of the best, if not the best, race of her four years of cross country. It was a great moment for the likable senior.

Deliberately choosing to enter a meet like Clovis creates a “championship” environment for any team. The atmosphere and quality of teams present, demands that student-athletes step up and perform on a stage that is unlike any they experience all season.

Except for the one awaiting them at the end, when championships normally happen. If and when that time comes, Clovis will have served its purpose.

Results    Woodward Park All time list   Girls Varsity Results   Boys Varsity   Boys FS  Girls JV

 



Monday, October 9
FRESHMAN SHINE AT HUNTINGTON BEACH INVITATIONAL
With half the team at Woodward Park for the Clovis Invite, the rest of the team headed to the Central Park Invitational in Huntington Beach. However, with reduced numbers only the JV boys and freshmen girls managed to field teams. Undeterred, all the athletes ran their hearts out and represented King High well in humid and ever warming conditions as the day went on.

Leading off were the JV boys with a great race by Michael Munoz finishing with the top time of the day for the boys at 17:11 while taking 11 th overall. Roman Hernandez and Connor Sharp followed, with Connor overcoming the pain of getting elbowed early in the race to gut it out to meet his personal goal for the race. Also representing well for the JV team was Daniel Wilbert who has overcome his injury during the summer by setting a PR for himself. The sophomore boys also raced well with Matt Somody, Angel Rawdon, and Daniel Park each setting new PRs despite being in the heat of the later races.

On the girls side, Sydney Grossi and Karissa Bardin both beat their personal goal for the race, as did Jalene Rodriguez for the sophomore girls.

But the big story of the day was the freshman boys and girls teams who, despite their youth, ran with abandon with most having their best race of the season to date. Three of the freshman boys ran almost a minute faster than their previous best times for a 3-mile race with Ryan Hernandez cutting a minute off his previous time at 17:50 (2nd fastest time for the boys on the day) and Brendon Provance and Gabriel Aborita each 50 seconds faster. Grace Lowry had the fastest time of the day for the King girls leading the freshman girls to a 6th place finish overall with Kalee Taylor, Emily Richmond, Justine Marshall, and Avalon Provance finishing off the scoring five for the freshman girls with the 3rd, 4 th , 5 th ,and 7th fastest times of the day for the girl’s team.

RESULTS 



Thursday, September 21
TEAMS PLAY THE RUNNERS UP TO BIG 8 LEAGUE OPPONENTS
Roosevelt hosted the first of the Big 8 League cross country races on Wednesday with a 5000 meter course at Eastvale Community Park. The format has all six of the conference schools competing simultaneously in JV and Varsity levels.

Roosevelt’s boys are currently ranked third in the State at Division 1 and are widely considered one of the best in the country. King’s un-ranked boys are young and inexperienced (there were two rookies and two sophomores in the squad of seven yesterday) but the Wolves raced with a poise and a sense of experience against a better opponent and really impressed in their second-place finish.

Garrett Vasta was third overall for King and ran a personal best time for the distance. Mitchell Machuca and Austin Fortenberry – two sophomores racing varsity for the first time this season – had great races as well. They were followed by senior Chris Barba, in his fourth year and senior Mazin Awad in his first year. Both young men had very competitive races. Daniel Lopez was sixth for the Wolves and freshman Francisco Zavaleta had an impressive first-ever varsity race in the seventh-spot for King.

The girls entered the meet ranked 7th in D1 of the Southern Section of CIF, and are the defending Big 8 League Champions, but they suffered through some adversity on Wednesday and dropped to the ranked Santiago Sharks and even nipped by one point by Roosevelt, finishing in third. Lauren Peurifoy continued to impress, winning by over a minute, but Santiago’s pack separated her from the rest of the King scorers. With one runner not racing due to injury and then having a likely scorer drop from the race near the second mile with an asthma problem, the King girls were snake-bit of sorts and came up short-handed at the finish line and the misfortune greatly contributed to the final score. Junior KaryLee Taylor in just her first season of the sport impressed with a 20:00 time for the distance.

King’s JV teams race very competitively as well. Joelle Ramos and Skylar Smith were the two front runners for the girls, leading them to a second-place finish behind the Sharks as well. The JV boys were led by a great race from Dathan Chann, Malachi Cabanilla and Matthew Castro, all of whom finished in the top 6 places and within 9 seconds of each other. Jacob Haas and Brian Green rounded out the scoring to get the team just nine points out from the win.

So it was a day of second places – save one – as King played the runners-up to the Big 8 leaders. The Wolves will look to move a place as the rest of the season unfolds. 

Results     Photos



Saturday, September 2
SEASON HEATS UP RIGHT FROM THE START
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 After a week of triple-digit temperatures, the early morning hours of Saturday were only moderately better as the cross country teams kicked off their season at the Riverside Showcase.

The Riverside City Course will be the venue for the CIF Championships in November, but on this early September morning, it was still decidedly summer. None of the six races saw temps anywhere near "comfortable." Still, the King kids competed well, managing the challenging temperatures as best they could.

It got off to a great start as the Frosh Soph boys team scampered out to a team victory, besting Roosevelt and 16 other schools to win with 62 points.  Despite Roosevelt throwing down the first three finishers, it was the Wolves' pack that won the day as Austin Fortenberry, Mitchell Machuca, Edgar Ortega, Malachi Cabanilla and Brian Green all finished in the top 24 which created a margin of 8 points between themselves and Roosevelt to get the win.

The JV and Frosh Soph girls combined in two races to run well. Mackenzie Peters was 9th in the JV race, followed by Carissa Avila.  Jenna Bernath and Ashley Haring were the top two runners for the frosh soph squad. 9th grader Victoria Gonzalez was 34th in her first-ever cross country race and, per her usual, was seen smiling after the race.  The girls frosh soph team finished fifth overall.

Lauren Peurifoy led from the gun in the girls varsity race and covered the 2.25 mile course in 12:12, winning by a large margin (46 seconds) over Sara Leonard of Canyon-Anaheim.  Scoring for the girls was Allison Janes, Karylee Taylor, Joan Green and Sydney Magno. With two of the team's top five not racing, and Taylor, Green and Magno having no varsity experience prior to today, the third-place finish the team notched was quite impressive.  Yucaipa and Canyon, two highly ranked squads were first and second respectively.

"Overall I would say today was a successful day" Allison Janes said. "Individually and as a team I felt that we showed up strong and were not deterred by the heat."

The last two races of the day had that heat and had a lot of it, as temps got near 100 with a dose of humidity just to make it muggy. The boys varsity were led by Garrett Vasta who had a very nice season debut, finishing sixth overall.  Senior Mazin Awad in this his rookie season, did well, running second for the Wolves in 65th place.  He was followed by Chris Barba, Daniel Lopez and Andrew Simpson. The team finished 10th of 26 squads.

The JV boys were the final race of the morning and were led by Connor Sharp, Matthew Castro and Jacob Haas, who all finished within three places of one another.

Photos   Results  



Sunday, September 17
SOPHOMORES SIZZLE IN SAN DIEGO
The Mt.Carmel Invitational held annually in San Diego’s Balboa Park has a long history and annually draws outstanding fields. Running in a grade-level format, the meet follows much of the same course that the Footlocker Cross Country National Championship will traverse in December.

It was a wonderfully cool and overcast afternoon, but King’s sophomores sizzled on the layout, finishing second of all teams in their respective races. The girls went first and were led by Joan Green, but the pack of Jenna Bernath, Ashley Haring, Sydney Magno and Skye Hutchinson all finished well to take home the silver.

The boys sophomore class followed with a second place finish of their own and just three points ahead of San Marcos who was in third. Mitchell Machuca raced in the leading group for most of the race before finishing in third. His time would end up the fastest time of all King runners on the day. Austin Fortenberry had another quality race, while Brian Green, Hector Ruvalcaba and Luke Freese rounded out the scoring.

Junior Lauren Peurifoy was entered in the senior/invitational race and ran away from the field, right from the start. It was another outstanding performance from the junior, as she gapped all challengers by a large and growing margin right from the start. She ended up running the 2.75 mile course in 14:46.8 which set the junior class course record and sits third all time on the historic course. It was 37 seconds faster than the second place finisher.

“It was such a fun and exciting race” she said. “I loved being able to race in such a cool terrain rather than just the typical flat cement in Riverside.”

Indeed, the setting of Balboa Park is almost unbeatable, as the harriers twist, bend and wind their waymtcarmel17 through groves of trees and along paths of dirt and grass amid thousands of spectators. The freshmen girls, who were the first to take the line must have been equally inspired by the setting, as they set the tone for the afternoon of races. Kalee Taylor made a big improvement to lead the squad. Justine Marshall was just a few steps behind her in 31st place, while Grace Lowry finished a handful of places behind her.

Francisco Zavaleta scorched the course in the freshman race, scoring in 5th overall. “I felt like I got off to a good start, but my finish wasn’t that great. But I’m happy that I medaled.” Zavaleta said after the race.

Edgar Ortega was 12th overall (10th in the scoring), while Ryan Hernandez showed his natural talent in 22nd and running the 2.95 miles in 18:26.

In the Junior races, Amanda Sosa debuted her 2017 season in fine form after a good summer of training. Rookie KaryLee Taylor was right behind Amanda in 7th overall and ran 17:15, a very good showing. Mackenzie Peters also ran well, earning a medal in 47th place and a 19:27 mark.

Garrett Vasta led the Junior boys to a 4th place team finish with an 11th place finish in 16:41. Daniel Lopez was 30th overall to medal in 17:23. Matthew Castro also looked good on the course, in 49th, while Jacob Haas medaled in 56th despite being a little under the weather.

Allison Janes raced well in the senior race, finishing 16th place overall with a fine time of 17:37. Skylar Smith finished in 34th and Joelle Ramos was 41st. Mazin Awad was the leading senior boy with a 64th place finish.

When all the results of all 8 races were completed, the organizers merged the times as if there had been one, giant girls race, and one boys’ race. The results were impressive. Of the 34 schools competing in D1, the girls finished in 2nd and the boys in 11th.

So it was a good day for King, led by the sophomores who sizzled in their races, taking home some team hardware in the process. For an early season meet, run at grade level, you have to look pretty hard to find an event and a setting any better than Mt. Carmel.

Results   Photo Gallery




 
 

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