By Joe Naiman
The final home meet of 2011 for Ramona High School’s girls cross country team took place Nov. 4 during a rainstorm. Although all 13 Ramona varsity and junior varsity runners finished the race, the tri-meet at Dos Picos Park saw Torrey Pines and Mount Carmel dominate the Bulldogs.
“I told them it was going to be tough,” said Coach Kim Toth. “They went into it realistically.”
The runners knew the strength and depth of the Torrey Pines and Mount Carmel teams throughout the week, although they weren’t expecting the course conditions to be what they were.
“It was wet and cold,” Toth said on Friday. “It hasn’t quit raining up here since about 10 o’clock this morning.”
When Toth arrived at the course, the outside temperature gauge in her car read 46 degrees. An appearance of sun prior to the meet’s first race, featuring the junior varsity girls, provided hope that the weather would improve.
“We actually thought it was going to clear up,” Toth said.
That proved not to be the case.
“The conditions were not ideal, but that is what cross country is,” Toth said.
In a tri-meet, runners from all three schools compete in the same race, although for meet results each team is scored against each other as if the third school was not present. The Torrey Pines varsity beat Ramona by a 16-47 score and Mount Carmel by a 16-41 margin while Mount Carmel took a 20-43 win over Ramona.
Toth had instructed her runners to run as a team but also to run individually as a preparation for the league and CIF meets.
Four Torrey Pines girls finished in a pack with times of 16:49 and 16:50 on the 2.75-mile Dos Picos Park course, and Ramona senior Lauren Cortez placed fifth overall at 16:51.
Ramona’s next finisher was freshman Cassidy Blankenbaker, whose time of 18:37 placed 20th overall. Rachel Brown was 27th at 19:07, Teresa Leon earned 28th place after a 19:11 performance, and Caitlin Choy finished 29th with a time of 19:47.
Ramona freshman Francheska Gonzalez is out for the season with tendinitis and shin splints, and sophomore Anna Mazzola is awaiting further medical testing for a diagnosis but is also out for the season.
The Bulldogs had nine varsity runners and four junior varsity competitors in the tri-meet.
Because Ramona did not have five junior varsity runners, the Bulldogs forfeited both matches. Ramona’s top finisher was junior Alaina Lindquist, who took 20:47 and finished 26th.
“I think some of the girls had a good finish,” Toth said. “They’ll go into league finals, I think, with a really good attitude.”
What is now a 13-member squad presents a dilemma for Toth.
“That’s where it’s tough being a coach, ‘cause I can only take 12 to league,” she said. “One of the girls won’t be able to go.”
The league finals will take place Saturday at Kit Carson Park.