With the Asics Clovis Invitational Championship race on Saturday, Oct. 12, Dana’s perfect record has come to an end. The massive meet in Fresno undoubtedly tested the Dolphins, as it featured many top teams such as Great Oak and Newbury Park.
With one mile left in the race, Dana was in fourth place overall. Unfortunately, Dana’s leading runner at the time, sophomore Jai Dawson, dropped out of the race due to an injury. However, senior Carrick Denker finished first for the Dolphins with a time of 15:21.3 in the 5,000 meter. This time earned him an eleventh place overall. Despite Denker’s strong performance, Dana placed eighth place finish overall with Dawson’s injury. Before the loss at the Asics Clovis Invitational, the boys had a near-perfect season. Following their strong performance at the Mt. Carmel meet, the Dolphins were hoping to keep the momentum rolling. They inarguably succeeded in this endeavor with a win at the 46th Annual Dana Hills Nike Invitational.
At the meet on Saturday, Sep. 28, Denker led the team with a first place finish in the three-mile with a time of 14:33.2. Other notable performances by the Dolphins included sophomore Jai Dawson and junior Brandon Pizano with times of 14:56.1 and 15:01.6, respectively. These racers placed second and third for the Dolphins, 7th and 16th overall.
Thrilled by the victory and overall success of the team so far, Denker remarked after the meet, “It felt great to win the Dana Hills Invitational as both an individual and a team. We have a long-standing legacy as a successful program, so to come out and continue that legacy on our home course was amazing. It gives us confidence for important upcoming meets as well as for the postseason. We’re excited to continue training these next two months and compete for a chance at a state title and a spot at nationals this year.”
This year, the team will need contributions from both upperclassmen and lowerclassmen. The lowerclassmen have been solid this year, consistently running fast times. The leadership provided by the seniors on this squad will be influential in the team’s development and success. The team is looking more and more dangerous to other schools searching for a state title along with those in their league.
On Saturday, Oct. 12, the Dolphins raced in the Asics Clovis Invitational.
Dana had many notable individual performances at the meet, but the best were done by freshman Allura Markow and senior Marisa Gaitan. They helped the Dolphins to a second place finish overall. Markow’s time of 18:35.1 earned her a third place overall, and Gaitan’s time of 19:09.1 earned her a fifteenth place finish overall.
The Dolphins hosted the 46th Annual Dana Hills Nike Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 28. This meet has consistently been a hard fought battle with numerous athletic schools in the area.
Markow placed first for the Dolphins in the three-mile race with a time of 17:10.3. This time gave her a seventh place finish overall out of over 150 competitors. Gaitan finished second for the Dolphins with a time of 17:16.6.
These performances by the Dolphins were great for those individuals, but they were not enough to earn the team victory. They ended the meet with a fourth place finish.
Despite this tough loss, the team is still optimistic. Gaitan thought the meet served as a good building block for the rest of the team, saying “It was a really good meet for the whole team. Lots of girls had major improvements, and I think this confidence will carry us through a strong rest of the season.”
The Dana girls will have to bounce back from this tough loss and try to find success later in the season. The hunger for winning is still prevalent in this team and the work that is being put in to make this goal a reality is unceasing.
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