A very sincere THANKS is in order to all of the volunteers that helped make the 2015 addition of the Brea Invite a success.
This year Coaches Hightower and Rainwater remeasured the course using a measuring wheel only to find that our "5k" course was 162' short of 3 miles! After some deliberation, they decided that it was best to extend the advertised distance. Our already difficult course was now a bit more challenging but the BOHS athletes were up for the task. The first race of the day was the community race, Conquer the Canyon. We saw a great run by Kevin McNulty winning over local legend Christian Cushing-Murray. Defeating a sub-4 minute miler is always an impressive feat, and is especially impressive with a 30+ second gap!
The next race on the day was the Frosh/Soph Boys 6, 7,...+ race. Noah Tamagno had a huge race to lead the Wildcats, and ended up with a sixth place finish with a time of 19:40.8. Mason Harding, Anthony Candelario, Kevin Sprague, and Jack Hannum rounded out the team's top five, and showed an ever-improving 1-5 gap of just over a minute! Nicely done! 8:50 AM's Frosh/Soph Girls 6, 7, + race saw an incredible performance from Lara Makki. Makki ran a 26:16.8 over the difficult, grassy course and earned a 29th place finish. Brea Athletes Madilyn Cerwinski, Bethany Munden, Molly McWade, and Cameron Cox completed the team's top 5 runners. Amazing job, ladies!
As 9:10 AM rolled around, it was time to start the Frosh/Soph 1-5 races. The boys race was first on deck, and proved to be an exciting one. Sophomore sensation John Dempsey made a huge statement from up front, and led from the gun to finish to earn his second win ("W") of the week in 17:25.7. Not far behind, Tommy Valenti nabbed a 14th place finish in 18:24.1. Adan Villanueva and Chris Thornburgh made up a Wildcat 3-4, and Jacob Woody rounded out that fifth place in a time of 19:59.1. A special shout-out to Woody for stepping up into the 1-5 race despite arriving at the meet prepared to run in the 6+ race; this took guts! Following the Frosh/Soph Boys, the Frosh/Soph Girls 1-5 race saw huge performances from Christina Grattan and Daisy Serna who finished 1st and 2nd, respectively, for the Wildcats. Not far off , Jennifer Haugen and Emma Brookman finished neck and neck in times of 26:40.7 and 26:42.8. Isabella Smith rounded out the Wildcat's fifth position. Great performances in both of these races!
As the Varsity 1-5 races began, it was apparent that the Wildcats wanted to remind everyone that this meet--one bearing "Brea" in the title--was their meet. The boys race was up first and saw utter domination from start to finish. By the 1 mile mark, a sea of Brea jerseys flooded the front pack. This would become a reoccurring phenomena through miles 2 and the finish as Austin Tamagno, Gio Orellana, and Joe Tobin nabbed the race's top three positions. The Brea top five was rounded out by a tenth place finish by Caleb Myers and a thirteenth place finish by Daniel Perez. It doesn't take much knowledge of the sport, or even math, to figure out that five runners in the top thirteen nabs a team title. Brea Boys trump neighboring Valencia 29-56. The varsity domination does not stop with the boys. As we turn to the girl's side, Carly Halm leads the Wildcat girls with an impressive 19:50.5 and nabbing a second place finish in the race to Haefele of Villa Park. Fellow Brea athlete Kylee Grubbs captures a ninth place finish to score some necessary points for the team. Hannah Bachelor and Jennifer Frazier boast impressive races to make up a Brea 3-4. We would be incredibly remiss if Kayla Libed's HUGE performance was not highlighted. Libed's 31st place finish was paramount in closing a gap to team title champion Foothill. Falling to Foothill's 1-5 by a margin of only 12 points means that League Finals will be a nail-biter!
We finished the day with the Varsity 6+ races. On the Girl's side, some incredible performances capped off the day. Ariel Williams ran a great race and stole the 2nd overall position! Teammate Catherine Grattan was only seven places back from Williams, and ran a 24:39.1. Aiko Gevirtzman and Sophia Gastelum showed the field that Brea is rock-solid on all levels with 12th and 28th place finishes respectively. If a 29 point score in the Boys 1-5 was impressive, the 6+ Boys team seemed to up the ante. Jon Tobin ran away from the field to win in 17:39.8, and would finish as the only competitor in the field to break the 18 minute mark. Ricky Libed would be only places away from Tobin, and finished in third overall place. The low scoring runners don't stop there; Brea runners Drew Apahidean, Dylan Perlson, Matt Salas, and Steve Clark grab positions 5-7 in the race. In cross country, a perfect score is 15. Brea scored 23 in the Boy's 6+ race...Pretty darn close to perfection!
Great job to all the Brea athletes that competed on Saturday! The Wildcats showed great amounts of toughness and pride in competing at a meet that Brea Olinda Cross Country has put on for the last 26 years!