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HS girls' cross country loses 17-42 to Yokota

The high school girls' cross country team faced Yokota on Saturday at Tama Hills in its first meet of the season. The young Knights team fell 17-42 on the 3.3-kilometer course.

CAJ had all five of its runners finish within two minutes of each other Natasha led the way for the team with a time of 17:09.3, which placed 27th out of 103 runners. Behind her were Charis (18:13.6, 49th), Anna (18:26.1, 55th), Sara (18:46.2, 58th) and Yohana (19:00.9, 65th). It was the first time ever running a cross country race for Natasha, Charis and Anna, and all five runners are freshmen or sophomores.

"I really liked the energy today," Natasha said. "I really liked how we were all motivating each other and how we were all trying to all push each other. I know we have a small team and it's very intimidating because all the other schools have much bigger teams than us, but I feel like we have just as energy, just as much determination as they do."

The girls, along with the rest of their competitors in the Kanto Plains league, will start running the 4.4-kilometer course at Tama for their next meet, which is next Saturday. Coach Nate Rudd thinks the team has developed the endurance necessary to thrive on a longer course.

"The girls did a good job running the 3.3 today," Rudd said. "I'm looking forward to seeing what they can do on the 4.4. Even though it's longer, I don't think it will affect most of our girls."

Coach Nate Rudd said one thing he thinks all of the CAJ runners can benefit from is more training specific to Tama's hilly course.

"I'm looking forward to focusing on running after the hill. Usually we do practices like that earlier in the season," Rudd said." This year, we've been putting it off so we could get people running more distance. But at least once a week, I am looking forward to focusing on running after the hill. Some kids will be able to excel there more after we practice that mental strategy a little bit."

Full results from Saturday's meet are available

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