Cross country finishes season at State

The+women%27s+cross-country+team+pose+for+a+final+time+after+the+State+Championship.+The+Warriors+ranked+13+to+finish+the+season.+Photo+courtesy+of+coach+Dean+Lofgren.

The women's cross-country team pose for a final time after the State Championship. The Warriors ranked 13 to finish the season. Photo courtesy of coach Dean Lofgren.

The four-hour drive from Torrance to Fresno Saturday morning had something different from the multiple trips cross-country coach Dean Lofgren has taken to the State Championship: a message to his team.

“I’m not one for motivational speeches, but I told them on the way up that there we’re going to be 3-4 teams right within one or two points of us, and that we wanted to be in front of those teams,” Lofgren said.

Unfortunately for the Warriors, they didn’t catch the breaks needed at the CCCAA State Championships Saturday morning and wound up finishing 16th and 21st in the men’s and women’s divisions respectively, according to Lofgren.

The Warriors came into the race ranked 13th in Southern California, and with the North factored in at State, Lofgren felt they had placed right around their ranking.

“Although we didn’t pull off any great upsets, the guys moved up a spot or two with only three Nor-Cal teams in front of us,” Lofgren said.

Lofgren wasn’t the only one to speak out, he also heard freshman Chance Weston tell his teammates to give everything they had for this final race.

The team didn’t win the state title, but there were still good performances, such as freshman Solomon Kanehailua finishing 34th overall with a 21:20 time.

He was followed by freshmen Michael Moody (97th; 22:10), Weston (111th; 22:15), Jacob Helfgott (130th; 22:29) and David Hodges (160th; 22:57), according to Lofgren’s results.

The women’s team gave it all they had, as sophomores Hannah Griffie, Judith Torres, Jackie Rodriguez, and Courtney Smith ran their last cross-country race as Warriors.

Griffie was first for EC finishing 68th overall with a 20:06 time, she was followed by Torres (109th; 20:42), freshman Xiomara Perkins (118th; 20:52), Rodriguez (157th; 21:39) and freshman Jennifer Villarreal (170th; 21:59), according to Lofgren’s results.

“Hannah and Judith ran well,” Lofgren said. “But we needed everyone to be tighter to be competitive as a team.”

With the cross-country season finished, most runners will move on to track in spring, and Lofgren hopes to see his freshmen return to the program in 2016.

“On the way home they were already talking about training over the summer and getting ready for next season,” Lofgren said.