Cougars run wild at Mt. SAC

By Mark Foyer-Half Moon Bay Review--Photo by Mark Foyer

Friday, Aly Millett won the freshmen race at the 55th annual Mt. SAC Cross County Invitational.

A short time later, the Half Moon Bay High School varsity girls' team came away with the top prize in the team competition.

Two other Cougar teams finished in the top three, getting medals to take home.

Any individuals placing in the top 15 got a medal. Half Moon Bay had 11 runners earn medals.

So, what did the Cougars do Saturday in Southern California to celebrate their fine showing?

They did what any other victorious team would have done - they went to Disneyland.

Actually, the trip to "The Happiest Place on Earth" was already planned when the Cougars prepared to go to the biggest meet in the season. What was unplanned: winning so many races and earning so many medals.

Millett, running in the girls' freshmen race, led a successful team by running the 3.0-mile in 19 minutes, 50 seconds. Katherine Fulp-Allen was third in 20:30, with her teammate Aimee Kirmayer fourth in 20:37. Ashley Kirmayer was 17th in 22:04. If the Cougars had one more person on the team, they would have claimed the team title. There were 161 runners in that race.

The girls' sophomore team finished fourth with 76 points. Oak Park, located north of Los Angeles, was third with 71 points.

Leading the way for the Cougars was Ashley Hughey, who finished third in 21:04. Liza Hitchner was sixth in 21:20.

Also running for the Cougars were Audrey Fulwiler (19th, 22:48), Caroline Abadie (44th, 24:00) and Sarah Hollinworth (61st, 24:44). There were 148 runners in that race.

Thanks to top-nine finishes by Leilani Ortiz (seventh, 20:37) and Tori Steeves (ninth, 20:37), the Cougars won the varsity girls' team title with 78 points. Berean Christian of Walnut Creek was second with 86.

Also scoring for the Cougars were Lacey Hughey (19th, 21:37), Jezabel Ortiz (23rd, 21:56) and Daisy Lamont (30th, 22:53). Also running for the Cougars were Leah Walsh (115th, 28:21) and Brooke Bierdeman (116th, 28:21). There were 133 runners in the race.

The varsity boys were third with 151 points. Upland Christian won with 103 points. Boulder City was second with 121 points.

Tony Aguilar led the Cougars, finishing 14th in 17:22. Tristan Jones was 28th in 18:07, with Jason Schafer 40th in 18:35. Also running for the Cougars were Anders Moberg (42nd, 18:37), Charles Abadie (62nd, 19:06), Ryan Havice (70th, 19:20) and Ian Rogren (114th, 21:04). There were 149 runners in that race..

No on the jewelry rule

Mark Foyer

By Mark Foyer--Coastside Scoop

The rules that are enforced in high school come directly from the National High School Sports Federation.

Each sport has its own rule book. There are about 20 sports offered to high school students, so there are 20 different books.

Each rule book has its own specific set of policies ranging from the length of the court to the length of the uniforms.

The section dealing with uniforms spells out how they are to be worn, what constitutes a legal uniform and what makes for an illegal uniform.

There are also rules dictating the size of hats that baseball players can wear, as well as the type of cleats and spikes that are allowed, which varies from sport to sport.

The National High School Sports Federation wants to standardize as many rules as possible. One such rule that cuts across every sport is that jewelry can't be worn during an athletic competition.

That is fine in sports in which athletes go body-to-body (football, basketball and wrestling, for example), but it doesn't make sense in track and field or cross country.

That rule was put in place last spring by the national rule makers for high school track and field and has carried over to cross country as well.

You think those making the rules are kidding around? They aren't.

All rings, earrings, necklaces are prohibited. Plus anyone with visible body piercings, such nose rings, or belly-button rings, can't wear them during competition or else face disqualification.

What this has to do with hindering an athlete during a competition I have no idea.

For track's throwing events - shot put and discus - a rule states that if a piece of jewelry, support belt or hat should fall off while the thrower is in the ring and the fallen object lands outside the ring, that throw will be regarded as a foul.

The sole reasoning behind the banning of jewelry in a track or cross country competition is to stay consistent with other sports. The only exceptions are for medical alert bracelets and religious medals. But even religious medals must be taped to the inside of the jersey.

The idea is to stay consistent with the other sports as far as fair play and sportsmanship. But jewelry should be another matter.

What is needed is to determine how jewelry could affect the outcome of a particular sport rather than imposing a blanket policy for convenience and uniformity.

There is no body-to-body contact in track or cross country, except for the occasional exuberant post-event pile-on by the winners.

At national and international track and field events, the competitors are able to wear jewelry. In some of the long-distance events, some runners start a stopwatch as soon as the gun goes off to start the race.

To paraphrase an old saw: Consistency, in this case, is the hobgoblin of rule-making sport minds. The rule banning jewelry should itself be banished.