Talk about team spirit.
In a first for Ojai Valley School, the girls’ cross country team has captured back-to-back Condor League titles, putting on a dominating performance on its home course Wednesday to earn its second league title in a row.
Led by senior Avery Colborn and freshman Piper Snowber, who came in second and third overall, the runners of OVS spared no effort on the three-mile grind, with OVS girls taking six of the top 10 spots in the Condor League race, held on the school’s tough Pi course.
It is the first time in school history that any girls team has won back-to-back league titles, and this is the third time in the past five years that the girls cross country team has earned the Condor League crown. Wednesday’s performance once again qualified the runners for a berth in the CIF preliminary meet, which will take place Nov. 16 in Riverside.
The OVS girls faced a season of hard, hot, hilly workouts in preparation for the league final, but senior leader Avery Colborn said they grew together as a result of that work.
“Knowing it’s going to hurt you really bad, you still know the team has got your back,” Avery said of the grueling workouts that are part of cross country. “I’m proud of how much the team improved over the season.”
The OVS boys cross country also turned in its best performance of the season at the league championship.
Led by junior Gabe Weisiger, who was the 9th fastest amongst all the runners, several of the boys ran personal bests on Wednesday, and the team as a whole came within just a few points of defeating Dunn School and qualifying for the CIF preliminary meet.
Gabe himself came within one place of qualifying for CIF as an individual runner. Runners who are not on qualifying teams, but who finish in the top eight, qualify as individuals.
“At the end of the day it’s a fun race,” Gabe said. “But even if I did get qualified, I wouldn’t be with my team, so it wouldn’t be so much fun.”
OVS coach Fred Alvarez said the entire team, both boys and girls, has been building since late August toward the Condor League final, knowing it would take place on OVS’s home course. And he said Wednesday’s meet was extra special in that this is the last year OVS will be competing in the Condor League, a league that has been home to OVS sports for decades.
“We wanted to have a great showing at our final Condor League race, knowing that it was the end of an era,” Mr. Alvarez said. “These runners didn’t let us down, and I’m incredibly proud of what they were able to accomplish this season.”
The girls team in particular racked up plenty of accomplishments. The lady Spuds won every league meet they participated in this fall, and Avery Colborn had several first-place finishes throughout the season. Moreover, each of the runners improved vastly throughout the season, and dutifully followed a program that had them rounding into peak form as the league final drew near.
That was evident Wednesday as they posted six Top Ten finishes.
Other top finishers included senior Jolene Fan who came in fourth, junior Bella Slosberg who came in sixth, senior Angela Qu who came in seventh and senior Stephany Nostrant who earned a ninth place finish. Freshman India Getty-Pruss had one of the strongest closing sprints of the day, and finished just out of the medals in 11th place.
All of the girls will head to the CIF preliminary meet on Nov. 16, where they take on hundreds of other runners from across Southern California on a flat and fast Riverside course.
“Like Mr. Alvarez said, the CIF meet is just ‘icing on the cake,’ ” Avery said. “I’m excited for the upcoming race.”Share