Cross country MVPs: Rich and Gerards

December 14, 2009

Rico Donelson Jones and Alex Tyler

Senior Ben Rich, the red-headed wonder of cross country, has been running for the team since his freshman year in high school. Rich has always been interested in sports and tried many things before finding his talent in running. Aside from training with the school team he trains independently to push his skills even further. This however, may have been his downfall at league championships. Two days before the race Ben left practice early to train more, even when his coach advised him not to.

“It was a big mistake because I over-trained before the race. I ditched practice to do hill repeats and I was too tired in the race,” Rich said.

Even though he lost the race and placed second at MVALs, it was his most memorable moment.

Rich qualified for the Division I CIF State Championships, and placed sixty-seventh overall.

Junior Jessica Gerards has also been racing since she was a freshman. She was the 2009 MVAL champion, missing state qualification by one spot. During off-season she and her sister run around their neighborhood park in preparation for track in spring. Gerards secret to success is “to stay calm, not think about how you’re going to perform.”

Varsity Girls Cross Country win League Title

December 3, 2009

Kaylee Miu

The MVAL schools met at Coyote Hills Nov. 12 for a final race, as runners double-knotted their shoe laces and prepared themselves to fight for the the 2009 cross country league title. Washington, James Logan and Mission San Jose dominated this season and all three were determined to secure the title for their own school.

The Washington girls entered MVAL finals with a 5-1 record, losing only to Mission San Jose. However, the girls pulled through to victory with a final score of Washington 41, Mission San Jose 51, and James Logan at 61. Mission San Jose had an undefeated regular season, after a defeat by Washington, both schools share the league title as co-champions. Junior Jessica Gerards led the team, placing first (20:42), with junior Rachel Gerards coming in third (21:05), and junior Maggie Sullivan taking tenth (22:00). All three girls were 2009 First Team All League.
Boys Cross Country entered finals with a 4-2 league record, losing to both Mission San Jose and James Logan. Seeded third in league, the boys held their rank, with Mission San Jose 51, James Logan 52, and Washington 80. Defending champion senior Ben Rich placed second (17:55), with junior Jessie Chestnut following close behind (18:00), losing to junior David Brody of American High School (17:25).
North Coast Sectionals (NCS) at Hayward High Nov. 22 will give the boys team another chance to take lead and face off against Brody.

Varsity boys redeem themselves at NCS

November 28, 2009

Kaylee Miu

The warm sun and cool breeze set the stage for perfect running weather in the 2009 Cross Country North Coast Sectional Finals Nov. 21 at Hayward High School. The best 130 varsity boys and 120 varsity girls competed in hopes of hitting top times to secure their ticket to CIF state championships.

After a shaky season, the Washington boys cross country team, defending league champions, finished in third place at the 2009 MVAL’s, behind both Mission San Jose and James Logan. All three schools have become power-houses, fierce in competition. Senior Ben Rich finished the season undefeated but had a shocking loss to American’s David Brody at league. After tough blows at league, the team was fired up and arrived at Hayward High School Saturday morning ready to give it their all with one last chance. The boys finished eighth, tying James Logan at 269 and defeating Mission San Jose’s 277. Top division I school San Ramon Valley dominated with 41. Rich had a solid race, finishing the 3-mile course ninth (15:52), qualifying him for state, and defeating Brody (15:57) by five seconds.

“We did much better at NCS,” senior Anthony Cisneros said. “We made up for our mishap at league finals and reminded everyone we’ve still got a strong program. We’re not the team we used to be, but we definitely showed signs of a promising future.”

Meanwhile the varsity girls team, MVAL league champions, finished seventh in NCS, defeating James Logan, but losing to Mission San Jose. Top runner junior Jessica Gerards placed seventhth(18:40), but was one spot shy of state qualification.

The toughest part of the race was “knowing you had to run the hill twice,” Cisneros said. The ground was moist from the storm the previous day and therefore puddles of mud covered the course. Injuries were minor, however an ambulance and fire truck were called when “one girl collapsed from exhaustion right before the finish line, but managed to get back up under her own power and stumble across the finish line.”

Rich will compete in the CIF Coss Country Championships Nov. 28.

Huskies in the final stretch

November 11, 2009

Kaylee Miu

The rescheduled meet between Washington and Newark Memorial was combined into a tri-meet at Coyote Hills Nov. 4 with Irvington and Kennedy High Schools, sealing the last league meet of the year. The varsity boys came out strong as senior Ben Rich, junior Jesse Chestnut and senior Max Landon swept the first three places against Newark Memorial, and junior Marc Leprince taking fourth against Kennedy. The boys varsity squad ended their league season with a 4-2 record, losing to Mission San Jose and James Logan.

Freshman Nolan Peterson took his fifth win in the Frosh/Soph boys division against Kennedy. Recovering from muscle detachments, he will join the varsity boys at North Coast Sectional Championships after league finals.

“I’ve been out injured most of the season, but I’m healing pretty well right now, and am planning to have a good meet at MVALs,” Peterson said.

The varsity girls have powered their way into a 5-1 league record, losing to Mission San Jose. Lead by juniors Jessica and Rachel Gerards, the girls season came out stronger than their previous season. The girls squad crushed Newark Memorial as juniors Jessica Gerards, Rachel Gerards, Maggie Sullivan, freshman Jessica Yee and sophomore Kelsi Ocon swept the top five times. Junior Laura Dunford and sophomore Emma Johnston followed behind against Kennedy, as all seven girls dominated in the meet.

“A lot of us were injured or not feeling well [when we raced against Mission],” sophomore Kelsi Ocon said. “We plan to peak at MVALs, so hopefully we’ll all perform at our best.”

The Huskies will compete at the MVAL finals Nov. 12 against the league schools for entrance into sectionals.

Former homecoming queen and Mr. Husky announce 2009 title winners

Former homecoming queen and Mr. Husky announce 2009 title winners

Photo Credit: Pro Image Studios

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November 10, 2009

Alex Tyler

During halftime at the homecoming game, Nov. 6, after performances by the cheer team and the school band, an excited crowd waited with bated breath for senior Breana Meagher to announce this year’s homecoming queen. The 2009 homecoming queen is Kellie Ishisaki and the runner ups are Kimberly Chatterjee, Emily Khuc, Monique Pascual and Shay Mozzetti in second, third, fourth and fifth places, respectively. Erika Gerards, last year’s homecoming queen, returned to crown Kellie as queen. The court rode into the game in convertibles, escorted by their fathers, all of whom were ecstaticly proud of their daughters. All of the girls were happy for Kellie, and proud to be part of the homecoming court.

“I was really excited. I had been hoping that she would win because she has done a lot for the school throughout the year,” Chatterjee said.

The next night, at the homecoming dance, this year’s Mr. Husky was crowned. Brian McMahon, last year’s Mr. Husky, came back to crown Cedric Lousi as the winner of the title. The first, second, third and fourth runner ups were Austin Wong, Seth Neumann, Ben Rich and Jack Veronin, respectively. Halfway through the event, the lights were turned on, and everyone stopped dancing as the Mr. Husky nominees were led onto the stage by the homecoming queen nominees. There were smiles all around when Cedric was announced as winner, and he broke out into a huge grin while his mom came on stage to congratulate him.

“I was just excited and happy that I won,” Lousi said.

He definitely hoped to win and it came as a great surprise when his name was announced.

This article has been altered with the addition of corrected information.

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