It took until the fifth week of the season, but the Woodlawn cross country team finally got to run on a dry course, and the results were spectacular. Every Woodlawn competitor turned in their best time of the season. Twelve out of the eighteen that competed turned in career bests.
The boy’s squad turned in their best team performance of the year, averaging 19:04 over the three mile course as six runners went under 20 minutes. Khidhr Al-Mustafa turned in a season and team best 17:33. Brandon Williams finished in a time of 18:29. Junior Saulomon John was the third Panther across the line with a personal record of 19:34 and was closely followed by the trio of Coby Sanchez (19:34), Darmar Galvan (19:52) and Marshall Bayles (19:53), all of which were personal records.
The boys moved up ten places over their finish in the same meet last season and are really beginning to race and compete as a team.
Coach Wallace says the key to the team’s success is no secret. “It’s hard work, nothing but hard work. As the season has progressed the boys have really embraced our weekly workout plan and are competing with each other and pushing each other in practice. That makes us run faster in practice which makes us run faster in the meets. In other words, the faster you train, the faster you race.”
The girls’ team finished five places better than their finish in 2015. They were led by a season best 22:33 performance by junior Alexis Martin. Her time was the team’s best of the year and seemed to be just the motivation the rest of the squad needed as every girl on the team ran a season best at this meet.
Junior Melissa Grant was the second Lady Panther to finish in a personal record 23:51.
After the race Grant could not control her enthusiasm for the day and for the future as she echoed the sentiment of the entire team when she commented, “Coach, I want to work harder than I ever have this upcoming week and dominate the Highland Road course next Saturday.”
Grant’s excitement and work ethic, along with the leadership of Alexis Martin and team captain Shelby Sanchez, has been a great help to the girls’ team as they continue to improve from week to week.
Freshman Aimee Martin set another personal record of 28:10, as did sophomore Alexis Aucoin, who competed in her first varsity contest. Kelli Oubre and Rayan Kaadan both set personal records in the two mile JV race. Oubre is likely to see her first varsity action next Saturday.
In the boys JV race, freshman Tyler Lewis saw his first action of the season, finishing the two mile course in 16 minutes.
The boys and girls teams will return to Highland Road Park this Saturday for the Catholic High Invitational.