(Graphic by Jackson Crawford)

Junior Olivia Chilelli, the varsity captain, and freshman Grace Eberhart drastically improved their course times at the California Interscholastic Federation Sac-Joaquin Section Cross-Country Championships at Willow Hill Reservoir in Folsom on Nov. 16, ending the season on a high note.

Chilelli improved her time by three minutes, 46 seconds despite hating the course.

“I was really nervous leading up to the race, mainly because I really hate this course due to my experience running it the first time,” Chilelli said.

“I hated the course the first time I ran it because it took me 29 minutes to do so, which is way slower than I’m used to. From that point, the course intimidated me for the rest of the season.”

Chilelli ran the Willow Hill Reservoir course on Sept. 14 in 29 minutes, 3.87 seconds. She improved her time to 25:17.4, placing 31st of 67 runners in her division.

“I didn’t get a time I was hoping for, but I was just happy to have finished the race,” she said. “It did feel great, though, to have improved my time by (almost) four minutes because it showed me that I shouldn’t be afraid of this course.”

Freshman Grace Eberhart improved her time by 1:54 with a time of 17:37.7. Eberhart placed eighth of 19 runners in her division and received a medal.

Coach Joe Hartman said “the nine weeks of training” was a very important factor in the runners’ improved performances.

Freshmen Eric Lechpammer and Jonah David had qualified for the section meet but did not race. David was sick, and Lechpammer had a previous engagement.

No SCDS runners qualified for this year’s state championships.

Hartman said he was very happy with the season.

“The season was hugely successful,” he said. “Last year, we had zero cross- country runners, so to go up to five this year was a great improvement.”

By Miles Morrow

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