CROSS COUNTRY: Varsity girls place first, boys fifth

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CROSS COUNTRY: Varsity girls place first, boys fifth

Christopher Song

Team fights fatigue, strong winds in Baylands meet

Nicholas Chen runs in Baylands Park

Senior Nicholas Chen runs in the annual Baylands meet. Runners lacked rest because of the previous day’s night run.

Warm, windy weather set the tone for the 5K Baylands meet in Sunnyvale on Tuesday, Oct. 16. The varsity boys, continuing their pack running strategy, placed fifth with the first five MVHS runners — sophomore Rohan Choudhury, junior Zachary Patti, seniors Stephen Ting and Ajay Rajamani and junior John Hsiao — all finishing within one minute of each other.

“Our varsity boys raced a pretty a smart race,” coach Matt Paquet said. “They didn’t start the race too fast, and they’ve been improving the whole year.”

However, Paquet went on to state that several runners were unable to incorporate their plan of starting the race at a steady pace and then running hard through second and third mile, as many faded towards the end. Hsiao echoed these sentiments.

“A couple people had a bad race today. But I think the top five did really well. We are all pushing ourselves,” Hsiao said.

During this meet the team struggled with fatigue from their annual night run the previous evening. The run, four miles through Fremont Older, takes place as the team nears the end of the season. Serving as a bonding experience outside of the team’s normal workouts, it is considered an important cross country tradition.

In addition to lack of rest, the runners also faced strong winds and a dusty trail.

“I almost felt like I was going to fall because it was so windy,” junior Kirsten Do said.

Despite this, she and the varsity girls placed first. Sophomore Jenny Xu, who scored third overall, led the team with a time of 19:21, and freshman Madeleine Yip, sophomore Julia Chang, junior Bridget Gottlieb and Do all placed in the top 40 in a race of 92 runners. The girls have reached the top five through all their meets this season, and hope to win this year’s league finals at the end of the month.

“We’re pretty favored for girls,” Paquet said. “Homestead [High School] is up there too, but I think our girls can handle them.”

The Matadors’ next meet will be on Oct. 25 at Lynbrook High School.