Laying back in his seat on the long bus ride back from the Mt. SAC Cross Country Invite in Walnut, California, Antonio Dominguez ’18 reflected upon his cross-country season and the success that he and his team have had.
“As my last year attending Mt. SAC, I don’t think the race could have gone any better,” Dominguez said. “We completely destroyed the competition, and would have still won even if took out our two best runners.”
The varsity cross-country team came away from the meet with a first-place finish, nearly a minute faster than the second place team, in the Division 5 heat. The freshman, sophomore and JV teams all placed within the top-12 in their own races.
Mt. San Antonio College hosts the invitational event, which is the largest cross-country meet in the United States. The Invite, which accepts entries both inside and outside of California, pits over 20,000 runners in three divisions (elementary school, high school and community college) against each other in heats based on school size.
The Knights varsity team all finished within the top-30 in a field of 173. Phoenix Aquino-Thomas finished 13th with a time of 17:03 (third-fastest time for a Knight at Mt. SAC), while the rest of the team finished within 50 seconds of him.
Travis Evans ’19 led the junior varsity team to a third-place finish against Division 4 and 5 opponents finishing in 18:03, breaking Connor King-Robert’s ’15 JV record by over a minute.
“I would say as a team, this was probably one of our best performances at the meet in recent memory,” Evans said. “It was really incredible to see how much we were capable of despite the difficult track.”
The best time from an underclassman came from sophomore Antonio Woo. Woo ran a 17:37, placing himself fifth among Division 4 and 5 sophomore boys. He was the only non-varsity Knight to run under a six-minute mile pace, shattering the previous Stuart Hall sophomore record at Mt. SAC by two-and-a-half minutes.
“I was confused. I was so focused on how well all my teammates did, that I didn’t realize how well I did,” Woo said. “It was a special day. Our team won the Sophomore Division by a solid margin, and I was happy that we were able to continue the success from last season.”
Along with Evans, Jackson Daecher ’19, Lance Fong ’18 and Harris Rutherford ’19 also broke the JV record while placing in the top-30 of a field of 137.
In the sophomore race, Kyo Torres, Maxi Tellini, Cole Bianchi and Glen Hastings were also able to break the sophomore record now held by Woo.
The freshmen also performed well in their race, placing 11th amongst a field of 37 teams.
After the final BCL-West meet on Oct. 25, the Knights are now preparing for the postseason. The BCL-West Championship takes place at Lindley Meadow in Golden Gate Park on Nov. 3.
“Even as the main season finishes up, our varsity team will not be slowing down. We are excited for NCS and are in the running for a top-five finish,” Dominguez said. “We have a really strong team this year, and hopefully our handiwork will allow us to go to states.”