The women showed up the men at Sunday’s GGP XC Open in San Francisco. The open men took a strategic bye and the masters men took what’s amounting to a season bye. For the old’uns Dan Rhodes ran a fine 24:42, good enough for 34th place in a deep field, with Brian Schultz following in 29:08 (90th). Details . . .
Byline Diann Leo
The fourth meet of the cross country season, the Golden Gate Park XC Open, offered a preview into the XC Championships in November. The course provided a somewhat home field advantage for those who competed in the local high school and college competitive circuits. Those who are familiar with the two-mile loop course know it is not a fast one and is subject to random gopher holes. The most difficult parts of the course can be the uneven, lengthy straight-aways over the grass meadows.
The weekend weather leading up to the meet had been seasonably hot; at last, San Francisco finally had its first real dose of summer weather.
By Sunday morning, fog finally started rolling back into The Richmond District, providing a respite from the heat of the previous day. The moisture made some of the dirt undesirably mucky, depending on your step.
Through the haze of the fog, the bright Excelsior jerseys definitely stood out in the masses. While the men’s teams had their bye week, the women decided to run for fun, more or less because it was in some our own backyards (and one of the few PA opportunities to roll out of bed and run to the start line). Tireless teacher Liz Louie championed her IT band injury and the first few weeks of an exhausting school year to run in first for the Excelsior women. It was her first cross race this season, as well as a one minute improvement from her time last year.
Welcome back, Liz! Denise Barchas was the second for the team. In her usual light-hearted tone, Denise called it a “fun” course.
Diann Leo was only 16 seconds off of her PR from last year–a decent performance considering she has been rebuilding after Skyline and a turned ankle at the Empire meet. Though she was beaten this time by an opponent she had outkicked last year, she was merely thankful she didn’t bust her knee again on the lumpy course. “Pacifica Fog Girl”
Jennifer Norman was right at home with the cool weather. She said she felt strong out there. Hopefully, Jen got some well-deserved ice cream
with her family after the race. Like a true warrior, Tehani Thompson battled through despite a pesky, finicky case of plantar fasciitis that has been recurring since Silver State. Way to tough it out, Tehani!
As of this writing, the scoring for this race has yet to be posted.
This coming weekend is the Norcal XC race in Redding. It being a little out of the way for many teams, this could be an opportunity to score some points (per an insider’s protip *hint hint*). The women’s team officially has four making the trek–who will be our fifth?
Byline Chikara Omine
The entire open men’s team ended up running 21:51 at the GGP XC race. The only problem was that the team consisted of one.
While the rest of the team decided to take a bye, Chikara Omine figured he could use a workout. The plan was to go at tempo effort. However, that plan went out the window 400m in as Chikara raced to a course PR for 18th place.
Tyler Abbott caught up with Chikara after the race and made sure to give his thoughts about the sub-22 time (something Tyler has not been [Ed.: is this really the proper tense?] able to run). The expletive Tyler directed at Chikara before taking off will not be repeated…
Has Tyler been influenced by Nakia Baird?