League Oak Division finals will be held on Nov. 10 in Ukiah
The Healdsburg High School cross country team will be in hot pursuit of peak performance this Saturday, Nov. 10 when it toes the starting line at the North Bay League championship meet.
The competitive NBL Oak Division finals will be held on the 3.1-mile Ukiah High School course, with the first race set for 10:30 a.m.
The Greyhounds hit the trail for the last league meet of the regular season on Oct. 31, doubling up with extra duty in the Hoka 2-Mile Madness race on Nov. 3 in Santa Rosa.
Maria Carrillo played host at the last league meet at Spring Lake on Halloween, and as expected the super deep Carrillo teams trounced the much smaller Hounds’ squad.
The Pumas swept both the varsity girls race (23-37), while the Maria Carrillo boys also captured team honors (17-46).
The event wasn’t without excitement as HHS senior Gabrielle Peterson continued her winning ways by completing the course in 17:11, the 8th fastest time ever for the course, joining an elite group of runners that have gone on to compete at the collegiate level.
Rounding out the varsity girls scoring were Natalie Bozeman (20:06), Susie Gutierrez (20:56), Deisy Velasco (21:22), Nadya Rued (23:58), Stephanie Hensley (26:05) and Yasmin Villa (29:56).
In the boy’s race, sophomore Jack Vanden Heuvel led the Hounds with a respectable time of 16:19. Also running well for Healdsburg were 2nd to 9th place finishers Luca Pastene (18:09), Dante Godinez (18:26), Jameson Dankowski (18:50), Fernando Salazar (20:08), Henry Waterman (21:05), Aidan Whitlock (21:23), Alex Gartner (22:06) and Owen Smith (25:34).
The Greyhounds were back in action on the track and under the Montgomery High School lights in the Hoka 2-Mile Madness meet, an event that included six heats for the boys and three for the girls.
“This is a great race for this time of the year because it reflects the hard work that the team has done in a race that is in a much more controlled setting,” HHS coach Kate Guthrie said. “Times were fast, as every single Hounds runner logged their fastest mile pace for the year.
Peterson led the way with a winning performance in the varsity girl’s race, blistering the track in a fast 10:30. The Healdsburg duo of Godinez and Vanden Heuvel ran stride for stride until Godinez pulled way in the last 400 meters for a four-second separation and a stellar 9:55 finish.
Other notable efforts came from Fernando Salazar and Stephanie Hensley.
“After having a few difficult meets this year with a nagging calf injury, Fernando led his heat from start to finish Saturday evening,” coach Mike Efram said. “Stephanie, as a freshman, is coming from the other end of the spectrum. After almost quitting part way through the season, she told us that she ‘really missed running’ and has been one of the most reliable runners at practice every day.”
Mike Efram contributed to this article.