Mercury News girls cross country of the year: Gillian Meeks, Gunn HS

Gunn's Gillian Meeks made choosing a girls cross country runner of the year an easy task.

Meeks won the Division II race at the state finals with a time of 17:16.0 on the 3.1-mile course at Woodward Park in Fresno.

"My goal was to finish in the top five or the top three," Meeks said. "I thought I'd have to run a pefect race to win it. I wanted to put myself in position to do something I wasn't expected to do."

Meeks ran in second or third place most of the race before making her move late in the final mile. Her time was the fourth-fastest overall.

"That was a great race for her," Gunn coach Patti Sue Plumer said. "She had a game plan and executed it perfectly. Wanting to do it and executing it are two very different things. She is able to execute under pressure in a high-stress situation."

Meeks also won the Division II race at the Central Coast Section finals with a time of 17:17.6 on the 2.95-mile course at Crystal Springs.

Meeks will attend college at Harvard. Before that she has sights set on her senior season in track.

"I want to make big PRs in the 3,200 and the 1,600," she said. "I want to make it on the podium at state."

The top six finishers in each race stand on the podium during the awards ceremonies. Meeks, the CCS 1,600-meter champion as a junior, placed 12th in the 1,600 at state a year ago.

Mercury News girls cross country first team

Caroline Gee, Cupertino

Niki Iyer, Harker

Lauren Jacob, Los Altos

Elena Kamas, Homestead

Julia Lemak, Mitty

Gillian Meeks, Gunn

Emily Skahill, St. Francis

Second team

Lindsay Allen, Homestead

Annalisa Crowe, Menlo-Atherton

Kaylah Grant, Live Oak

Ann Marie Howell, Santa Teresa

Emilia Janiczek, St. Ignatius

Maryman Jawid, Lynbrook

Serena Myjer, Mountain View

Honorable mention

Jackie Foti, Sacred Heart Cathedral

Illi Gardner, Gunn

Sarah Geyer, Mills

Gia Kim, St. Francis

Angela Liu, Lynbrook

Abigail Mangilog, Mitty

Skyler Miller, Branham

Katie O’Dea, St. Ignatius

Sophie Walton, Sequoia

Katie Williams, Homestead

Mercury News boys cross country of the year: Justin Robison, Lynbrook HS

Justin Robison concluded his Lynbrook cross country career with a second-place finish in the Division II race at the state finals. He was timed in 15:06.4 on the 3.1-mile course at Woodward Park in Fresno.

He won the Division II race at the Central Coast Section finals with a time of 15:02.6, the fastest time of the day on the 2.95-mile course at Crystal Springs.

But that wasn't his fastest time at Crystal Springs. He ran 14:59.2 at his league finals, becoming just the 36th CCS athlete to crack the 15-minute barrier in the 40-plus year history of the course.

"I am very satisfied with how it went for me," Robison said. "CCS and state and my last league race were all very good races because I had a good, solid buildup."

Now he is looking forward to track season.

"I want to work on speed and bring my 1,600 time down," he said. "I'm currently at 4:18. A lot of people in CCS can do around that."

He said he'd ideally like to get down to around 4:11 or 4:12, but that 4:15 might be a more realistic goal.

He has best times of 1:59 in the 800 and 9:17 in the 3,200. He is still undecided about which college to attend, but expects to move up in distance to the 5,000 and 10,000 meters.

Mercury News boys cross country first team

Meikael Beaudoin-Rouss, Bellarmine College Prep;

Nolan Dozier, Sobrato;

Graham Faust, Half Moon Bay;

Robert Miranda, Menlo School;

Matthew Richardson, Bellarmine College Prep;

Justin Robison, Lynbrook;

Kent Slaney, Palo Alto.

Second team

Jorge Estrella, Andrew Hill

Krey Hacker, St. Ignatius

Matthew Herrera, Serra

Brent Mogenson, Monta Vista

Xander Olivero, St. Francis

Chris Reed, Homestead

Ben Zaeske, Los Altos

Honorable mention

Thomas Busse, Bellarmine

Dylan Doblar, Bellarmine

Andreas Godderis, Los Altos

Daniel Graves, Homestead

Adam Mansell, Serra

Sanjay Mohan, Los Gatos

Kyle Reidy, St. Ignatius

Alex Scales, Bellarmine

Zach Walker, Willow Glen

Donald Welsh, Bellarmine

The M-N team includes all San Mateo and Santa Clara County runners plus the runners from the 3 schools in the WCAL that are located in San Francisco.