Cross country: Ike girls miss trophy taking fifth

November 6, 2011 by  

Chavez finishes sixth for Cadets ||

PASCO, Wash. — Mayra Chavez smiled with pride and cried with disappointment almost in the same breath. It was that kind of day for Eisenhower’s girls cross country team.

All too aware they came in as the defending champions and wanting to deliver another trophy — whatever the size — the Cadets came up short of the team podium, placing fifth in Saturday’s Class 4A state championships at Sun Willows Golf Course.

It was a fine effort with no regrets about having a bad day for third-ranked Eisenhower, but for landing hardware on this day the Cadets were stretched too thin in a deep field.

Eisenhower's Mayra Chavez runs in the pack at the start of the 4A cross country state championship Saturday, Nov. 5, 2011 in Pasco, Wash. (Andy Sawyer/Yakima Herald-Republic)



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They weren’t alone.

Redmond and Bellarmine Prep, ranked first and second, were surprised by Tahoma, which earned the program’s first state title with an 11-point victory over Bellarmine Prep.

Amid their letdown from missing a trophy, Ike had plenty to feel good about and Chavez’s effort was at the top of the list.

Running in the lead group from the start, Chavez held strong when the group broke apart in the second mile and didn’t yield position en route to a sixth-place finish.

“I knew I had to be up there at the start to have a chance at the top 10,” said Chavez, who timed 18 minutes, 26 seconds for the 5,000-meter course. “I didn’t want to overdo it so I tried to be patient. That’s not easy for me because I’m not a patient person, but it worked out great for me.”

Sophomore Elise Tello, who was so instrumental in Ike’s title run last year as a ninth-grade newcomer, was equally poised in her run and was rewarded with 12th place in 18:46 — an improvement of 19 places and 25 seconds over last year.

“There were times when I thought the start was too fast for me, but I didn’t want to back off,” Tello said. “After a while I got into my own pace and felt pretty good. It was the best I could do so I’m happy with that.”

Tello was also happy to get an invitation to the Nike Border Clash on Nov. 20. The top 17 runners in the 4A race got invites to the Oregon vs. Washington all-classes race.

Davis senior Kaitlin Kaluzny will be an alternate for the Border Clash, having finished 19th in 18:59. Kaluzny, the regional and district champ making her fourth appearance at state, was in the top 10 at the first mile but slipped back over the final mile. It was still her best finish of the four state races.

Sophomore Alyssa Pena and junior Tori Klein both dipped under 20 minutes for Ike, and freshman Keana Fine rounded out the Cadets’ top-five scoring team for a score of 157 points — 14 away from a fourth-place trophy.

“We were the defending champions so of course we wanted to repeat,” Tello said. “But we gave it everything.”

“It’s hard because this was my last race and I wanted so much for this team,” Chavez added. “For my teammates and my coaches, we wanted so much. It was still a good year and one I’ll never forget.”

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