The rain soaked the Morley Field Course for a couple days prior to CIF San Diego Section Finals for Cross Country. Creating the course to be a bit muddy and difficult to navigate. For San Diego County’s best runners, weather and a muddy course were the least of their concerns. As other runner’s had to worry about your mighty Clairemont Chieftains.
For the girls of Clairemont they had their eyes set on qualifying for the State Championship race in Fresno, California on November 30th. In the most exciting race of the day your Chieftains clawed and ran their hearts out. With 1 mile to go in the 3 mile race the team sat in 7th place. Junior- Gioia Ternasky through the 2 mile marker was on the outside of qualifying as an individual. Time was running out for the Lady Chieftains and qualifying for State seemed lost. The race though is a 3 mile race and the wheels began to fall off for the other runners. While the Chieftains steadily kept moving up in the last mile of the race. Gioia Ternasky moved up the field and placed 12th overall in the Division 4 race. Freshman- Alexis Noble and Marley Scott finished in 20th place and 37th place. Sophomore- Bella Hartman and Senior- Emma Fickett placed 41st and 42nd to round out the scoring. The Chieftains finished in 5th place. Their highest team finish since 2012. Gioia Ternasky qualified for the State Meet, she has qualified three years in a row.
For the boys of Clairemont they had to endure a humid race as their race went off at 12:20PM. For Seniors- Matthew Kinney and Derek McCauley it was their last race off cross country in their High School careers. It was Derek McCauley who seized the day though as he was able to run a personal record of 17:52 for the infamous Morley Field course. Freshmen- Kevin Ruston and Bryan Bagnas had their first taste of CIF Finals. While it was a great learning experience for the Freshmen they will be looking forward to returning back next year to test their merit and try to become the next Clairemont Great in distance running.
The California State meet is November 30th in Fresno. While most of California will be busy with Black Friday shopping and eating leftover stuffing, Gioia Ternasky will be racing once again at Woodward Park. She will be joining California’s best runners and weather once again will be the least of their concerns.