Cross country team earns third in their first meet

Cross country team earns third in their first meet

Emily Vu


Cross country team finishes in the top ten at the annual Earlybird meet

The cross country team ran their way into the top ten out of over 40 schools at the annual Condor Earlybird Invitational meet on Sept. 11 in Toro Park, Salinas with solid first place victories by freshman Takuto Doshiro and junior Kevin Bishop.

Picked the day right before the meet, the chosen captains, senior George Chen and juniors Michael Lu, Neil Fernandes and Shivam Khanna expressed their pride with the outcome of the race and are determined to lead the team to even more success.

“It didn’t really matter that the captains were chosen the day before. Practice is practice, and everyone works equally as hard – even if there aren’t captains.” Lu said, “There is so much potential in the team this year.”

 Juniors Shivam Khanna and Kevin Bishop line up at the starting line. The team received third place at their first meet of the year, the annual Condor Earlybird Invitational meet on Sept. 11. Photo taken with permission of Shivam Khanna.“As a captain, I just want to keep them motivated and working hard. I understand that running can get boring sometimes, but I want to teach them to never give up and just try their best all the time,” Fernandes added.

The meet was off to a momentous start, as the freshmen boys secured second place in their grade level. Running as Matadors for the first time, Doshiro took first out of 220 other runners with a time of 17:02 and was soon joined by freshman Ryan Bishop with a time of 18:02 for eighth place.  

Doshiro, who was part of Kennedy Middle School’s cross country program in sixth and eighth grade, was surprised at the change from middle school meets to high school meets.

“This was a hard race. It was a lot different from middle school races,” Doshiro said. “The team is smaller this year, there were so many more runners at the meet, and the meet was way longer.”

However, this shift proved not to be a problem for these determined incoming freshmen. The freshmen success continued later in the afternoon, as the girls earned a well deserved third place with great times put in by freshmen Bridget Gottlieb and Kirsten Do.

Their strong momentum carried on throughout the remainder of the day. The junior boys received second place with a remarkable first place victory by Kevin Bishop with a time of 15:51 and additional solid performances by the junior captains.

The Matadors finished the day in seventh place for the combined boys division, 21st for the combined girls division, and third place as a school.

“Overall, we did amazing, and our season is only going to continue getting better. Not everyone has hit their peak yet, so that means we will all improve,” Fernandes said.

“There are a lot of meets coming up, and I’m really looking forward to all them this year,” Doshiro said.

The team hopes to carry on their successes to their next meet, the Lowell Invitational in San Francisco, on Sept. 18.

“Cross country is a team sport,” Fernandes said. “I want to make sure that the runners know that we are a family and that there are others here for them.”