Oakmont Inv (SJ): LaRocco has St. Francis girls rollin'; Brown does same for Jesuit
Photo courtesy of Steve Shaff (St. Francis HS Athletics)
Varsity Boys race start - Photo by Michael Lackner
Varsity Boys Race Video!
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By Rich Gonzalez
(August 31, 2013) — Don't look now, but these Troubadors are making sweet poetry with their feet and these Marauders are starting to loot the trophy cases yet again.
St. Francis and Jesuit, private high schools located six miles apart in the Sacramento Valley, each earned invitational titles on the opening weekend of the season at the Oakmont Invitational.
St. Francis' girls, the defending Sac-Joaquin Section Division 1 champions, placed all five of it scorers among the top dozen finishers to come away with a tidy 27-51 victory over Whitney. Senior Lauren LaRocco made it look easy up front, covering the 4-kilometer course in 14:02 and winning by 24 seconds. (See further recap below).
In the boys race, Jesuit pulled off a upset of defending Division 2 section champion Del Campo by a 38-49 score. Senior Andrew Brown (12:38) and sophomore Sean Kurdy (12:41) led the victory, placing 2-3, as the Marauders had four runners place in the Top 10. Whitney's Nathan Wellington won the race in 12:24.
"Del Campo was a bit off their game… I would still rank (Del Campo) ahead of us," said Marauders coach Walt Lange, whose squad placed third at last year's SJS Division 2 Finals.
Del Campo, which gapped just 19 seconds for it scorers but had no one finish in the top five in the race field, is ranked #33 in PrepCalTrack.com's preseason "Hot 100" boys teams while Jesuit checked in at #70.
Perhaps Lange was downplaying his own squad, which benefited largely from Brown's "career" race. He showed much promise for cross country two years ago but sustained injury at the start of last summer and missed the entire season.
Senior Tristyn Martin, the squad's top returnee from last year, placed ninth in 13:00 on Saturday. He reportedly was coping with stomach problems.
Below is a girls race recap, courtesy of Steve Shaff, St, Francis HS SID
(SACRAMENTO, Calif.) – The St. Francis cross country program had a strong opening meet, taking a pair of team and individual titles at the Oakmont Invitational at Maidu Park.
Senior Lauren LaRocco won the individual title for the second consecutive season with a career-best 14:02 over the 4-kilometer course.
“I am glad I have improved since last year,” said LaRocco. “The course felt short and that is good because we will be moving up to 5K. It was still a lot flatter than most of the courses we will run so it was good to ease into some of the hills.”
The Troubadours won the varsity race with 27 points, placing five student-athletes in the top 10 and three in the top five. Senior Madison Rawson was third overall in 14:29 with junior Miranda Myers close behind in fifth in a time of 14:46.
“It is a good first meet to have and helps us build up as they get harder throughout the year,” said Rawson. “Our whole team really proved ourselves this year and the summer training paid off.”
Junior Camille Boudreaux crossed the line eighth in the varsity race in 15:39, while Mallory Shingle was 10th (15:42). Junior Chloe Kardasopoulos was 12th overall.
“The varsity had a good first test,” said Troubadors assistant coach Mason Myers. “Our top six had very solid performances. Lauren reset the course record on a modified course. It was a great effort by her and she had to have a lot of motivation internally.”
St. Francis won the varsity team title for the third consecutive season, placing ahead of Whitney, Del Campo and Pleasant Grove.
“One of things that kept me going was hearing “St Francis” everywhere and all the St. Francis athletes up at the front,” said LaRocco. “It hopefully sets the tone for the rest of the season that we have a lot more wins to come.”
St. Francis also won the junior varsity title with a perfect score 15 as the Troubies claimed the top five spots in the race behind winner Ariel Medina (16:31). The frosh/soph squad was second overall behind Oak Ridge.
The Troubadours return to action in two weeks at the Ed Sias Invitational on Sept. 14.