Down their top three runners, the girls fall short at CCS
November 17, 2019
Going into this season, the expectations were high for the Lady Scots. With a strong returning roster from last year, the team’s main goal was to qualify for State.
However, as top runners such as Allie Ayers and Kaimei Gescuk, seniors, and Sabrina Jackson, a junior, sustained injuries late in the season, the fate of the girls soon became one of uncertainty.
After this season’s first PAL race at Half Moon Bay, Ayers’ hip became progressively worse to point where she was no longer able to run.
“I’ve been biking and cross-training since then and I was expecting to run by the end of the season, but that just didn’t happen,” Ayers said.
Despite the challenge these injuries posed, the girls banded together and, through their hard work and perseverance, were able to win the league, securing the PAL Championship title for the second year in the row.
“We had a goal of winning the league, which we did, and on the girls’ side, that was really an accomplishment,” said John Lilygren, the team’s head coach. “I’m particularly proud of the girls and the way they adjusted to the injuries of their teammates.”
With Ayers, Gescuk, and Jackson out of the race, Samantha Turtle took the lead for the Lady Scots placing 14th, breaking her personal record (PR) with a time of 19:25.
“Without our top three runners, we knew that we weren’t really going to have as much of a chance at qualifying for State so today we were mainly focusing on breaking PRs,” Turtle said.
However, her goal for Saturday was not easily met as she had to struggle through the immense pain that comes with the steep inclines and declines riddling the nearly three-mile course.
“I had seen them pass me beforehand and I was really upset when I was coming down the last 800m,” Turtle said. “I felt like I wanted to give up and I felt so much pain at the end, but you just gotta get rid of all those thoughts and just push through.”
Luckily for Turtle, her pain paid off as she set a new PR and regained her composure after reuniting with her fellow Scots.
“It’s just always really great to have your teammates there. I love how the whole team supports each other when they come through,” Turtle said.
Despite the disappointment of not being able to compete at CCS during their final season, Ayers and Gescuk were among the many Scots who cheered on the girls from the sidelines
“One thing that I really love about running is being able to cheer everyone on in their different races and of course, it’s sad because I didn’t get to run my senior season, but I’m just really glad I’ve been a part of the team for this many years,” Ayers said. “We’ve had some really fun memories and I’ll be back in the spring for track.”
According to Lilygren, the girls have an even greater potential for the coming season as Naomi Metzler, a freshman, and Bella Hopewell, a junior, are both strong runners that can help bring the girls to State.