By JOEL TIMBRELL
Special to the Tribune
For the second meet of the 2015 cross country season, Alhambra’s distance runners met at Hayward High School for the 13th annual Farmer Invitational last Saturday.
Unlike Martinez’s Ed Sias Invitational at Hidden Valley Park, which saw everyone race the two mile distance, Hayward offered a two mile race for the Frosh/Soph and a three mile course for varsity and JV athletes.
Hayward has been the site for the North Coast Section Championships since 2004. The course consists of grass, a dirt track, pavement and gravel that loops around the high school campus several times.
Athletes that finished among the top 25 took home a medal in every race.
Freshman Nicole Tria was the first of the Bulldogs to race in the frosh girls two mile race. As the only Bulldog in the race, she impressively kept up with the top 15 for most of the course and ended up crossing the finish line in ninth place out of 94 opponents.
In addition to winning the first medal of her career, Tria took home a new personal best time of 13:58, a 1 minute, 14 second improvement.
Graham Manning was another to record a personal best time. In the freshman boys two mile race, Manning fought for a 43rd place finish out of a field of 137 runners. His finishing time was 12 minutes, 36 seconds.
Junior varsity runners Kyle Thompson and Kyle Fitzpatrick set new best times in the three mile race. Thompson posted a 22:38, while Fitzpatrick ran just under 24 minutes with a time of 23:59.
As the day continued, the heat seemed to affect some of the performances. In the varsity girls’ two mile race, junior Erica Cardinale led the Alhambra pack, finishing in 23:21. Other Bulldog runners took more than 26 minutes to complete the distance. Las Lomas’ Chloe Hansel, the 2014
Division III Cross Country State Champion, easily won this race in a fast 17 minutes, 45 seconds.
The other notable result for the Bulldogs occurred in the varsity boys three mile competition. For the first time, Bulldog Noa Nabeshima dipped under the 17 minute mark with a strong time of 16:58. That mark was good enough for 23rd place and the second medal for Alhambra High School.
Dylan Gregory, Luis Garcia, and Trevor Oliveira-Smith also set personal best marks on the Hayward course. Fellow Diablo Foothill Athletic League rivals Tom Robey (Las Lomas) and Anirudh Surapaneni (Dublin) took first and second place overall in 15:42 and 15:50, respectively.