By JOEL TIMBRELL
Alhambra cross country runners made the short drive over to Canyon Middle School in Castro Valley for the 2016 Peter Brewer Invitational.
A total of 27 schools participated in the meet, including the Bulldogs’ new Diablo Athletic League rival teams Berean Christian and Northgate, both from Walnut Creek.
The description of the race reads:
“The Canyon course is a challenging 3.0 (varsity) and 2.1 (junior varsity and Frosh/Soph) mile run, with hills, trails, and grass. The heart of the course is a hilly mile loop of trails and trees – the Canyon – that makes up the last 1.1-mile of the race.”
Medals were distributed on a top-25 basis, with the exception of the varsity races which awarded the top 30 finishers. With normal October temperatures, the freshman boys were the first to race at 9 a.m.
Carson Edwards faced off against a tough group of De La Salle and James Logan athletes. As in previous races, he began with the lead runners and ended with the lead runners to cross the line in ninth overall in 13 minutes, 28 seconds. This performance notched Edwards a fourth individual medal win this season alone.
Gregori High’s Jackson Duchala won in 12:45, with De La Salle placing their athletes second, third and fourth to win the team title.
In the Frosh/Soph girls race Nicole Tria ran another strong race. Battling a trio of Oakland Tech runners and 107 other opponents, Tria was one of only four to finish the contest in under 15 minutes as she picked up the second Bulldog medal in 14 minutes, 58 seconds.
Just under an hour later at 11:25 a.m. it was time for the varsity girls’ race.
Junior Marissa D’Atri went straight to the front of the field of 79 people and opened up a significant lead. At some point D’Atri, who almost certainly would have convincingly won the race, took an unfortunate wrong turn, giving up the lead to Northgate’s Jessica Boucher. She quickly corrected the mistake and turned back to the right direction, but it was too late to grab the win, as Boucher crossed the line in first at 20 minutes, 12 seconds.
Not all was lost though, because D’Atri, like Tria, finished high up in the results and at fourth place overall.
Senior Erica Cardinale nearly broke 22 minutes with a respectable 22:01 on the incredibly hilly course. Her performance earned her a ninth place finish and another medal.
The varsity boys were the last competition in which the Bulldogs brought home an award. This season has seen the fastest four Bulldogs of Noa Nabeshima, Robert Viano, Trevor Oliveira-Smith and Connor Hayes finish in varying orders, but here it was Viano who led the group with a closing time of 18:43, which was just a good enough performance for 28th place and the fifth medal of the day.
Stuart Hall’s Elijah Horwitz won in a blazing fast time of 16:30, while Sergio Lopez of Del Campo took second at 16:33.
Only a select group of Bulldogs will participate in the famous Mt. San Antonio College Invite, which will take place Friday Oct. 21-22. The meet is one of the country’s largest invitationals, with thousands of runners completing the 2.95-mile distance every year.