And both the girls’ and boys’ teams impress in the postseason.
On November 25, at the CIF State Championship in Fresno, California, both the girls’ and boys’ cross country teams delivered impressive performances that capped off an exciting season of long-distance running here at Thacher.
The boys’ team—made up of thirteen varsity runners, including one freshman—entered the season ranked 3rd in the CIF Southern Section and 6th in the state. Throughout the fall, this excellent squad of runners brought their best to every meet and qualified easily for the postseason. At the CIF Southern Section Championships, the team displayed the same strength and talent, ultimately claiming first place in a field of approximately 130 different teams. It was the 10th time in the last 11 years that the boys’ cross country team had qualified for the CIF State Championships and they were determined to give it their all. On the day of the big race in Fresno, they proved to be the fastest team by 18 seconds and ultimately came in 2nd place on cross country scoring—the best ranking of any boys’ cross country team in Thacher history.
“They showed they were the strongest boys’ team in the history of the School,” said Athletic Director Pete Fagan. “Hours of training surely paid dividends for these boys.”
“This was the same group of seven boys who placed 6th in the state in 2016,” said Coach Fred Coleman. “They were confident that they could be a Top 3 Team and they were very focused throughout the fall. The captains were outstanding and we even had excellent leadership from junior and sophomore boys.”
The girls’ cross country team, which failed to qualify for the postseason last year, came back in a big way in 2017. They started out with one goal: qualify to compete in the CIF State Championships. The girls worked extremely hard and ran well throughout the fall; their efforts paid off and they qualified for the postseason. The runners brought their best to the CIF Southern Section Championships, with almost every girl on the team finishing the competition with a personal record and three athletes breaking 20 minutes—an impressive feat on all fronts. Their efforts earned them 4th place and a spot at states. Heading into this final, major test of the season, the team knew they faced a tough battle, with three of their four top runners unable to compete that day. The girls once again rallied, however, ultimately running hard and placing 11th—far higher than they’d expected, given the circumstances.
“The girls were thrilled to make it to states this year,” said Coach Sarah DelVecchio. “We are not losing any of our runners next year, so we are aiming to get on the podium at CIFs and at states.”