By: Program Director Coach Chris Anderson
The CIF State Cross Country Championships started with a drizzle leaving puddles and causing portions of the course to be muddy. Coach Friz told the girls to “embrace the conditions” and that is what the girls did. Canyon’s girls finished the season with a seventh-place effort in Division II. The girls entered the race expected to finish ninth.
Leading the charge was superstar freshman Emma Hadley who finished the 5k course ninth overall with a 18:04. Emma’s efforts earned her All State honors. Coach Heather Frisone comments it’s easy to coach a young star like Emma: “Don’t be greedy and let her develop over time.” Coach Frisone also points out “Emma will listen during a race to coaching and will immediately make an adjustment. That’s not common.”
Emma was followed by Sarah Paino, who improved her State Meet time by 50 seconds from the previous year. Coach Frisone stated she was impressed by Sarah’s effort. She said, “to drop that much time from freshman year is significant.” Sarah feels her 50 second improvement is the result of “training and just the jump from freshman to sophomore year and I maximized opportunities.” Now with two years of State Meet experience, Sarah looks forward to “two more State Meets and qualifying for some of the bigger meets.”
Graciela Retiguin’s senior season ends with a 40 second improvement from her efforts last year. Graceila suggests this year was more special because she started the year not in the top 7 girls. “I earned my place. It feels good!” Graceila also said she felt stronger and better prepared mentally. She attributed coaches that are encouraging and that kept her focus on the goal. While racing, Gracelia said she kept thinking about her teammates. “We always run together, and I wanted to stay with my teammates.” Graciela’s 40 second improvement had her finish exactly in the middle of the seven—doing her part to ensure the team ran together.
The future looks bright for this young and talented team. Six of the seven runners return next year.
Here is a recap of how all the girls finished:
Emma Hadley: 18.04
Sarah Paino: 18.35 (19:25)
Isabella Frisone: 19:03
Graciela Retiguin 19:15 (19:51)
Ashling Carr: 19:16 (19:23)
Jessica Schempp 19:49
Isabella Rubalcava 19:50