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800 runners participate in CYO championship


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Message of Fatima
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placeholder November 20, 2017   •   VOL. 55, NO. 20   •   Oakland, CA

More than 800 runners from 39 parishes participated in the CYO Cross Country Championship in October. Below, left, are third to fifth grade girls runners; below right, sixth grade boys.
Diane Chavez/courtesy photos

800 runners participate in CYO championship

After the smoke cleared from the North Bay Fires, more than 800 runners converged on Crown Beach Regional Park, Alameda, for the annual Oakland Diocese Cross Country Championship Meet.

The disappointment of the CYO meets cancelled the previous week, due to poor air quality, quickly turned into excitement as the young runners ran over a wind-swept course through sandy pathways with a view of the beach and Bay.

Runners from third through eighth grades, both girls and boys, pushed for individual medals and team awards run over the mile-long course. In a special division, runners from kindergarten through second grade ran a half-mile race. Teams at the meet represented 39 parishes and Catholic schools in Catholic Youth Organization Cross Country.

As with all CYO events, the meet began with a prayer with the runners and their families. After the opening prayer, runners competed in five races in individual age groups. As darkness fell over the beach, the meet and the CYO Cross Country season concluded with a gathering of runners and families for a closing prayer and an awards ceremony.

The 2017 CYO Cross Country season featured four weeks of running on Friday afternoons in late September and early October. Races were held in parks around the East Bay at Crown Beach, Alameda; Joaquin Miller Park, Oakland; Oak Hill Park, Danville; and Grain Park, Hayward. Each race had an exciting start, sometimes with more than 200 runners along multiple starting lines. Runners then paced themselves, running through wooded trails or along sandy beaches. After covering the distance, runners sprinted over flat, grassy areas to the finish line.

At each meet, all runners, both competitive and recreational, were greeted along the course and at the finish line by cheering, enthusiastic family members. All in attendance appreciated the accomplishment of an athlete finishing a mile or half-mile race.

The attraction of CYO Cross Country for young people is running with friends in a natural park setting, running up and down hill slopes on tree lined or sandy pathways, in sun and or in wind, and then beginning a fall weekend, perhaps with post-meet pizza.

Individual diocesan meet winners, with times over the mile course, were:

3rd-5th Grade Girls:
1st – Isabella Shalauta, CCOP, 7:07.2
2nd – Alexa Lawson, St. Patrick, Rodeo, 7:12.6
3rd – Tatiana Wilson, St. Leander, 7:27.6

3rd-5th Grade Boys:
1st – Evan Malonzo, St. Patrick, Rodeo, 6:33.7
2nd – Brett Morrison, St. Isidore, 6:38.2
3rd – Conner Snow, St. Joan of Arc, 6:38.8

6th-8th Grade Girls:
1st – Rhea Braganza, St. Joan of Arc, 6:15.8
2nd – Sasha Piper, St. Michael, 6:18.3
3rd – Lauren Yee, Holy Rosary, 6:27.7

6th-8th Grade Boys:
1st – Aidan Sunbury, St. John Vianney, 6:10.7
2nd – Justin Peterson, St. Michael, 6:12.4
3rd – Ryan Frankel, St. Joan of Arc, 6:13.5

Boys and girls, in kindergarten through second grade, competed in a half-mile event.

K-2nd Grade Girls:
1st – Erin Dodson, Immaculate Heart, 3:50.7
2nd – Alyssa Ragasa, St. Philip Neri, 3:52.8
3rd – Marina Beers, St. John, San Lorenzo, 3:55.4

K-2nd Grade Boys:
1st – Cody Harrington, St. Theresa, 3:41.0
2nd – William Spain, St. Joseph, Fremont, 3:41.7
3rd – Kai Sullivan, School of the Madeleine, 3:48.0

For Diocesan Meet Team Award winners, teams are scored one point for the first place runner, two points for the second place runner, etc., and then scoring for their first three runners. As in golf, the low score wins. No team awards are presented for the K-2 race.

The top three teams in each division with points were:

3rd-5th Grade Girls:
1st – St. Theresa (43)
2nd – Corpus Christi, Piedmont (48)
3rd – St. Joan of Arc (58)

3rd-5th Grade Boys:
1st – St. Joan of Arc (20)
2nd – St. Isidore (22)
3rd – St. Michael (70)

6th-8th Grade Girls:
1st – St. Joan of Arc (10)
2nd – St. Michael (28)
3rd – St. Isidore (34)

6th-8th Grade Boys:
1st – St. Joan of Arc (16)
2nd – St. John Vianney (20)
3rd – St. Michael (38)

For complete meet results or for more information on CYO Cross Country, visit the Cross Country page of the CYO Website: www.oaklandcyo.org.

(Bill Ford is the director of the Catholic Youth Organization in the Diocese of Oakland.)

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