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Torrance High Conquers Mt. SAC

Cross-country team reaches great heights at prestigious event.

On Friday, October 20th, the Torrance Cross Country team competed in the 75th annual Mt. SAC Cross Country Invitational. The meet is one of the biggest of the season, and is notorious for its many hills and competitive atmosphere. The temperature was soaring over 80 degrees, the heat making many runners miserable and causing many of them to throw up or pass out. Despite these conditions, Torrance was able to secure a few wins for the team. The JV boys, Varsity boys, and Varsity girls scored first place in their races.

The JV boys ran first, taking the title of first place overall for their race. Eric Schulz was the first boy to cross the line, earning a medal and Mt. SAC cowbell. He finished at 17:48. In 3rd, Erik Jimenez Jr. finished at 17:56 and was followed by Raphael Noa who finished at 18:01. Angel Rodriguez (18:19) and Mikah Tong (18:25)  finished in 7th and 8th place. With 235 athletes in the race, Torrance did extremely well as they had 5 of their boys in the top 8. 

The Varsity Girls finished first place in their race, with Maya Okada finishing as the 3rd girl in the race with a time of 19:39. Sofia Wessels (8th) finished at 20:33, Riley Gibson (11th) finished at 20:44, Nasa Amatayakul (27th) finished at 22:10, and Kayla Yonekawa (33rd) finished at 22:22. It was a very close race with Torrance and San Luis Obispo tied for first, both teams with a score of 64 points. Because of the tie, the 6th runner on the team determined the final result. Layla Burnett (43rd overall) was the 6th runner on the Torrance team. She finished at a time of 22:44. She finished six seconds before the 6th runner for San Luis Obispo, breaking the tie and giving Torrance the 1st place title.

The Varsity Boys also took first place in their race. Aidan Corcoran was first to cross the finish line at 16:12, earning a medal and the Mt. SAC cowbell. Ethan Wessels finished in 4th place at 16:31, Doyun Kim (20th) finished at 17:23, Jack Campbell (21st) finished at 17:23, and Juan Avellana (24th) finished at 17:35. The boys did extremely well especially since this race was a really tough one.

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First place runners get a special award: the Mt. SAC cowbell. Aidan Corcoran came in first place for the varsity race and Eric Schulz was first for the JV boys race. The cowbell is a gold cowbell that only first place runners receive for each race. These two runners showed that the hard work and dedication they put into their sport pays off. The cowbell is an award given to everyone who runs Mt. SAC wants it because it is a huge achievement for any runner. 

Each of the hills on Mt. SAC are given their own nickname, and are infamous for their varying terrain. These include the Switchbacks, where runners have to go uphill with very sharp turns, Reservoir Hill, a steady incline leading to a steep downhill, and Poop-out, the shortest but easily steepest of the hills. To truly show how tiresome the hills at the course were, we turned to members of the team to make a personal ranking of each of the different hills. The interviewees were Raphael Noa who ran for JV boys, Milo Guba who ran for sophomore boys, and Annie Inoue, who ran Varsity girls. Their rankings are as follows:


Raphael Noa Annie Inoue Milo Guba
1st (Easiest) Switchbacks Poop-Out Poop-Out
2nd Reservoir Switchbacks Reservoir
3rd (Worst) Poop-Out Reservoir Switchbacks


The Torrance high cross country team put in a lot of hard work and dedication into their training and it clearly paid off in this meet. With the motivation and momentum they gained from this race, the whole team is ready to compete in League finals. League finals will be held at West High on Thursday, November 2nd. The final race is the most important for all levels, as the team wants to end their season strong and get their varsity runners a spot to compete in CIF.

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