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HS boys' cross country loses close battle to Yokota 24-33

IMG_6125 Photo credit: Tanya Hall
The high school boys' cross country team started its season on a hot day at Tama Hills on Saturday, losing 24-33 to Yokota.

CAJ had Jordan (16:25.5) cross the line on the 4.4-kilometer course before any Panther runners and was third overall out of 86 runners. However, Yokota had the next three runners before CAJ's second. Koh-William (18:08.1), Stephen (18:12.1), Go (18:42.3) and Ty (18:46.7) filled out the Knights' top five.

"We had a few guys learning the course for the first time, and I think they did well. Some of them have even surpassed my expectations there already," coach Nate Rudd said. "I'm looking forward to seeing what they can do in the future now that they know the course."

Rudd added that he wished some of the returnees could have achieved better times. However, he acknowledged that the heat was a significant factor and that everybody gave a very good effort, despite the times.

Stephen also mentioned that the team's energy was good, despite losing several fast runners from last year's dominant team. "Everyone was pretty serious during warmups and things like that, and everyone wanted to do well. It was a good start," he said.

GyungWon also competed as the only middle-school runner for CAJ and finished with a time of 16:11.3, placing 23rd out of 71 runners on the 3.3-kilometer course.

Coach Nate Rudd said one thing he thinks all the CAJ teams 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

CAJ's next race is next Saturday, also at Tama Hills.

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