The Tam High boys cross country team won its first MCAL championship since 2007, while Redwood’s Ethan Werner preserved the Giants’ annual individual domination on Wednesday at the Indian Valley College campus.
The Red-tailed Hawks ended their championship drought thanks to the second- and third-place finishes by Max Dunmire and Lucas Ruark.
Tam totaled 42 points, followed by Redwood with 49 and Archie Williams with 74. The defending champion Giants had beaten the Red-tailed Hawks during the dual season.
“We’re always tough with the other big schools but it’s nice to pull it through this year for sure,” said Tam coach Phil Oreste. “Big shocker today. It’s an amazing feat. The guys deserve a lot of credit for getting to enjoy this success.”
Werner won the 3.1-mile race with a time of 15 minutes, 30.4 seconds, which was 40 seconds faster than his previous personal record. Dunmire was clocked at 15:35.6 and Ruark turned in a 16:04.9
Oreste said that Dunmire and Ruark definitely motivated the rest of his runners throughout the season, but particularly on Wednesday when Tam’s dynamic duo was among the frontrunners at the turnaround.
“The other guys could see that Max and Lucas were that far ahead and they were thinking ‘Wow we’ve got a shot this year,'” said Oreste. “That probably helped the guys behind them. We’ve got a lot of great, competitive boys. I think they were fighting for a spot in next week’s NCS as well so they just pushed it against each just as much as the rest of the schools.”
The NCS championships take place on Nov. 18 at Hayward High. There will be five divisions based on enrollment.
Werner’s victory marked the eighth time in nine years that a Redwood boy has claimed individual honors. In fact, the senior admitted he was channeling last year’s champ, Daegan Cutter, mid-race.
“I was thinking about Daegan on the hill,” said Werner. “I said ‘I can’t let this go. I’m running for Daegan right now.’ He won last year and I wanted to follow in his footsteps.”
For a change, Werner competed without his watch, preferring to let the race and his body dictate his pace.
“My goal was to break away on the hill and keep that til the finish,” said Werner. “I have to thank Max for keeping me on pace.”
Marin Catholic finished fourth with 138, followed by Novato (168), Branson (172), San Rafael (180), San Marin (200) and Terra Linda (221).
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