Half Moon Bay "Review" - '01

Tyler Godshall

        Senior boys claim Foothill XC title
        By Mark Foyer--Half Moon
        Bay Review

        The St. Francis Cross
        Country Invitational
        ended Thursday the same
        way it started for the
        Half Moon Bay High School Invitational.
        - with wins to celebrate.

        Dan Grech started the day
        winning the freshmen boys' race. He ran the 3-mile
        course at Foothill College in 18 minutes, 59

        A few hours later, as the sun set on the Los Altos
        Hills campus, the Half Moon Bay senior boys
        celebrated taking home the team title.

        The Cougars won with 60 points, seven points
        better than Palo Alto.

        Tyler Godshall had the fastest time for the senior
        boys with a 17:49 clocking, good for 11th place.

        Daniel Ho was 17th in 18:50, one second and one
        place ahead of Michael Bass. Mark Restani was 21st
        in 18:57.

        Also running for the Cougars were Ben Gerth (30th,
        19:59), Josh Brown (34th, 20:07) and Andrew Jensen
        (41st, 20:33). Kirk Damer was 62nd in the 62-man
        field. His time was not recorded.

        The course was slightly altered from past years.
        With ongoing construction, runners not only had to
        deal with the normal problems of hills - and in
        some of the earlier races, the mid-afternoon heat
        - but also the occasional dump truck as well,
        producing more dust and dirt than one sees on a
        warm afternoon at Crystal Springs Cross Country

        While runners had to make adjustments, they still
        had to work on lowering their times from last

        All but two Half Moon Bay runners with past
        experience at the meet dropped their times.
        Godshall lowered his time by nearly 30 seconds.

        "We were able to run in the late afternoon,"
        Godshall said. "It was nice and cool then. We
        didn't have to run when it was so hot."

        The news about the Cougars coming out on top
        brought plenty of happy faces.

        "I want the team to do well," Ho said. "We have
        been training very hard. We have our goals set."
        Thanks to Grech's win in the boys' freshmen race,
        the Cougars finished fifth as a team, scoring 124

        Also running for the freshmen boys were Aaron
        Wilson (19th, 20:48), Matt DeYoung (46th, 22:52),
        Darren Taylor (47th, 22:53) and Nate Lewis (64th,
        24:34). There were 80 runners in the race.

        With his team, Grech was the seventh fastest
        Cougar of the day.

        "I thought this was a fun race," Grech said. "Most
        of the race was downhill. I was hoping to finish
        first. But a good consolation would have been to
        place in the top 10."

        Thanks to the strong downhill running, Grech was
        [Image] alone with about 600 yards to go.                 

        He kept looking straight ahead. But with less than
        100 yards to go, as he made a turn from a frontage
        road onto the track, he made one final look back.

        "I didn't see anyone behind me," Grech said. "I
        just had to finish the race. I didn't have to
        sprint. I could have sprinted to the finish if I
        needed to."

        The sophomore boys finished fifth with 140 points.
        Tristan Jones placed eighth in the 102-man field
        in 18:28. Tony Aguilar was 15th in 18:56.

        Also running for the Cougars were Dylan Ho (43rd,
        20:50), Jason Whelen (57th, 21:57) and Jon Centoni
        (66th, 22:25).

        The Cougars had just two people in the junior
        race. Greg Cubbon was 35th in 20:19. Jan Thissen
        was 80th in 24:25.

        In the girls' junior-senior race, Half Moon Bay
        finished third with 91 points. Alisa Gammon led
        the way, placing ninth in 21:12.

        Leilani Ortiz was 14th in 22:03, with Lacey Hughey
        16th in 22:27. Sarah Myers put on a strong kick at
        the end to claim 21st in 22:42.

        Also running for the Cougars were Tiffany Silva
        (61st, 25:26), Christina Grech (81st, 29:08),
        Veronica Baume (82nd, 29:09) and Samantha Jensen
        (85th, 31:00).

        Gammon got what she was looking for, which was a
        solid race. During the season, she always got off
        to a strong start, but didn't finish as strong as
        she would have liked.

        It was a different story Thursday.

        "I ran by myself for about a mile," Gammon said.
        "I did run with another girl for the second mile.
        She finished behind me. If I have someone next to
        me, I am able to race with them. I'm very happy
        with how I did today."

        The frosh-soph girls didn't have a full team. But
        the four runners turned in an impressive showing.

        Drusia Dickson was 12th in the 79-woman field in
        22:05. Her time was third best among the Lady
        Cougar runners.

        Jezebel Ortiz was 14th in 22:16, with Gina Restani
        15th in 22:18 and Daisy Lamont 28th in 24:00.

        Dickson was able to use the hills to catch some

        "The hills here are not as hard as at Purissima
        Canyon," Dickson said. "The hills here are not
        easy, but they are not as hard as at Cougar

        On Thursday the Cougars have their final tune-up
        before the post-season, participating in the third
        center meet at Crystal Springs.

        The Peninsula Athletic League Championships take
        place Nov. 1 at Crystal Springs, with the Central
        Coast Section meet happening Nov. 10, at the same

 With her time of 22:05 in the girls' frosh-soph race,
 Drusia Dickson had the third fastest time for Half Moon
 Bay Thursday.