Friday, November 02, 2007

BSAL Final Meet Summary by St. Mary's runner Matt Duffy

The BSAL championships took place at Point Pinole Regional Park in Richmond. It is nestled between the Richmond country club, the Richmond Juvenile department and the bay. The course is one big three mile loop mostly on loose gravel, acorns and twigs that have fallen from the Eucalyptus trees up above. It was a 5k course and was the first time the 5k layout has been used in a championship meet. The Saint Mary's teams had a duel meet versus Berkeley HS and Salesian HS on October 4th, on a 2.9 mile layout which was also the site of the 2004 BSAL cross country championships. The meet is very flat with only a few hills including a very gradual hill that spectators can see from the final straightaway and as runners appear over the hill with a little less then half a mile left the spectators in the crowd try to decipher which school the runner is from before they see them come onto the final straightaway for the finish.

For the Saint Mary's High School Cross Country teams, Thursday was a very special day. It was the first time that both the Boys and Girls team have ever won a league championship in the same year. It is important to keep in mind that Saint Mary's just turned co-ed in 1995. All the athletes from both Boys and Girls teams are very appreciative of the season they have put together. We are all happy for our Head Coaches Jeff Rogers and Denis Mohun and also our assistant coaches James Lawson and Coach Alison. The girls went 1-2-3 and 5 in the top 10 in their race to score a dominating 21 points which was a great improvement from a year ago. On the Boys side we scored 34 points and placed 5 runners in the top 13 despite holding out two of our top runners due to nagging injuries. Both races went out in large packs as the first mile has a net elevation loss and then it spread out during the last 2.1 miles. It was an exciting race to watch and be apart of as a Senior as I know many teams from the leagues are extremely friendly with one another and we have been racing against one another for up to four years now. Congratulations to Saint Mary's Cross Country Teams and the entire BSAL, especially to Coach Doyle O'Reagan from PIedmont and Coach Tony Fong from St Joes for hosting the meet each year.

The BSAL uses three courses for their league championship which rotates every year. Point Pinole, Joaquin Miller in Oakland and Crab Cove in Alameda. Like I said earlier we ran at the same location in the season earlier but with a bit of a different layout, which made the course longer.

Also, watch out for the Alameda boys as they have been racing strong and pouring it on lately. There is a good chance that they can sneak into the top 3 in D2 behind Petaluma and De La Salle for a berth to the state meet. They are very confident heading into the meet and I know Saint Mary's and the BSAL wishes them the best of luck.

-Matt Duffy

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