Competing in the California Interscholastic Federation State Cross Country Championships has become an annual tradition for the three high schools from La Jolla, as every fall it seems that La Jolla High School, La Jolla Country Day and The Bishop's School have representation in Fresno on Thanksgiving weekend. Getting there is no easy feat, though, and with all three schools running at Woodward Park on Nov. 24, they turned in some solid results.
The girls' team from The Bishop's School turned in the strongest performance, finishing ninth in the Division IV race. The Knights scored 268 points (first-place Oaks Christian of Westlake Village had 149) and an average time of 20 minutes, 44 seconds.
Junior Elizabeth Schulze was the Knights' leading runner, finishing 16th with a time of 19:45 over the 3.1-mile course. Junior Laura Wyatt nearly caught her, placing 19th in 19:51. Freshman Serena Glynn was 46th in 20:42, freshman Lauren Collins was 81st in 21:21, and junior Alicia Triana placed 106th in 21:57. Junior Naomi Wagner (123, 22:28) and freshman Alyssa Morgosh (140, 23:11) rounded out the Knights' lineup.
The Knights' performance at the state meet was the second best in school history, according to coach Steve Brown. The performance capped off a season in which Bishop's won the Coastal League South and the Coastal Conference Championship as well as the CIF-San Diego Section Division title for the second straight year.
Bishop's also had five runners land on the All-Coastal Conference team and four on the All-CIF team.
"This is a team that didn't, because of injury and illness, put its top seven runners on the line until the CIF Championship race at Morley Field," Brown said. "But not one of the girls who was out of action gave up on herself, and not one of their teammates gave up on them. They all just kept working hard, running with great patience and poise and courage."
Country Day's boys team had two runners finish in the top 40 in team scoring, helping the Torreys secure a 17th-place team finish with a score of 422 and an average time of 17:47 in the Division IV race.
Junior Alex Poyhonen was once again the team's leading runner, clocking a time of 16:22, good enough for 12th place individually.
"He ran a great race and improved his time from last year by 20 seconds," Country Day coach Scott Sanders said. "He's obviously a little disappointed he didn't get into the top 10, but he was very happy with his race and is looking forward to next year and cracking that top 10.
"He's been running better all season long. He's shown some consistent improvement, and we knew he was capable of running 20-30 seconds faster than last year if the conditions were right. He was better prepared, he knew what he wanted to do, and had a race plan that was pretty solid and that he was able to stick to."
Poyhonen was followed by sophomore Dennis Roth, who was 53rd in 17:02. Alex Fleischhacker placed 150th in 18:12, Jason McCallum was 127th in 18:34, and Avneet Pujji was 164th in 18:41.