Cross Country Season Recap
Coming into the 2022 season, both the girls and boys Cross Country teams looked promising. Although a few fast seniors had moved on, the majority of the varsity runners were returning. Unfortunately, last year's head coach was not able to coach this season. Going into the season and for the duration of the season, the team was lacking a head coach. However, several assistant coaches sacrificed their time to make sure everything ran smoothly like a normal season would.
At the start of the season, Bulldog runners were a bit slow. Performances at invitationals for both the girls and boys teams weren’t what they had wanted, but as the season progressed things took a turn for the better. Going into the Metro League championships, the team gained momentum with multiple PRs and strong performances.
Coming into the qualifying rounds for state, both teams were motivated to get farther than they had last year, and worked tremendously to make that happen. When the time came, the results spoke for themselves. At metros, the boys placed 4th out of 16 teams, which was a major improvement from their 10th place performance last season. Leading the boys squad was Kamil Zeribi with an incredible 2nd place individual performance! On top of that, the girls team also performed better than last year, going from 11th to 8th, meaning both teams qualified for the district championships. At districts, the girls placed 10th in a strong showing. Leading the girls team, Phoebe Bryar qualified individually for state with a top 30 finish! The boys team placed 5th and qualified for state, making them the first boys team since 2016 to qualify!
One of the many key runners for the boys team was Aidan Cousseau, a first year runner, who played an important role as the 5th scorer for the team. With the other four scorers being Aaron Johnson, Colten Ladd, Lucas Carroll, and Kamil Zeribi, the boys were able to pump out a strong showing at districts with Kincaid Laverty and Benny Smith-Roberts rounding out the top 7. On the girls side, new Garfield students Flora Vall-Spinosa and Phoebe Bryar showed up for the team, being two of the 5 scorers for the girls side at metros. Along with them, Jayda Lewis, Anya Ceballos-Baliga, and Ella Nestingen comprised the other three scorers, with the team being rounded out by Sofia Slack and Mia Andreeva as the 6th and 7th runners respectively. As a strong squad of talent, they defied expectations and qualified for districts!
Unfortunately, quite a few seniors will move on after this year, some of the fastest seniors on the boys side being Lucas Carroll, Aidan Cousseau, Kincaid Laverty, and Charlie Cockburn. But there’s going to be a strong core of runners returning for the next year, with underclassmen Benny Smith-Roberts and Joe Palen being two of the fastest rising talents, and a promising freshman class. Along with now-juniors Kamil Zeribi, Colten Ladd, and Aaron Johnson, the boys team is going to have a very strong team next year.
On the girls side however, there’s not as many graduating seniors, with the large majority of the team being juniors or underclassmen. Though Girls Varsity will be losing Mia Andreeva, many fast juniors, sophomores, and freshmen that will be returning next year. Some of the most talented newcomers this year included Sanne Balkenende and Mae Robinson who will be returning next year with the rest of their large freshman class. Led by an almost completely returning varsity squad, the girls squad has great potential to go far next year!
Special recruitment message from the team:
Some team highlights from the season include: ice cream runs, team sleepovers, lake runs, corn maze trip, sleeping bag piles (invitational trips!!), meeting new people, and having a lovely time :)
For anyone looking for a new sport/conditioning for other sports, XC is a great option! Our teams incorporate fun and work, and have a great chance of making it far this following season!! (The trips to State are sososo fun!!!)
Overall, it’s been an incredible season for both teams, reaching team performances that we haven’t seen in several years! With both teams having fantastic potential once again for next year, the future is bright for Garfield Cross Country!!!
Here’s the full list of our graduating seniors! We will miss you so so much!!!
Boys: Boys team captain Lucas Carroll, Finn Albright, Milo Bradley, Pierpaolo Cammarata, Charlie Cockburn, Aidan Cousseau, Jasper Crossley Blasio, Louis Cufley, Henry Fabiansson, Owen Fasullo, Vincent Johnson, Charlie Kubiniec, Kincaid Laverty, Autumn Pelton, Jack Stanton
Girls: Girls team captain Mia Andreeva, Erica Bieber, Lola DeLong, Xara Francis-Sheffer, Bella Kneip, Cayce Koehler