by Joe Naiman
In Ramona High School’s girls cross-country team’s Oct. 4 meet against Mission Vista, Ramona junior Anna Mazzola was the first overall finisher and the fastest Bulldog runner, by over a minute, on Guajome Park’s 2.4-mile course.
The win was the second in a row for Mazzola, whose performance merited
athlete of the week honors for Oct. 1-6.
“She’s just a very talented athlete,” said Ramona coach Kim Toth.
Mazzola finished the Guajome Park course in 14:42, and her victory contributed to Ramona’s 1 point win over Mission Vista.
Ramona’s first dual meet took place Sept. 27 at Dos Picos Park, and Mazzola’s time of 17:27 on the 2.75-mile course won the race while contributing to Ramona’s team win over Orange Glen.
On Sept. 15, Mazzola competed in the Mt. Carmel/Movin’ Shoes Cross-Country Invitational at Morley Field in San Diego and finished fifth in the senior race with a time of 13:03 on the 2.1-mile course.
“Where she finished for the Mt. Carmel meet, that was awesome,” Toth said.
Ramona opened its season on Sept. 1 at the Vaquero Stampede meet at Lindo Lake Park in Lakeside. Mazzola’s time of 11:07 on the 1.65-mile course placed fourth.
“I was hoping we were going to see her full potential this season,” Toth said. “This year when she came out, she started off strong and she’s just progressing.”
Mazzola competed during the first month of the 2011 cross-country season before being pulled from a race for health issues and missing the rest of the season.
“I’m really glad that she came back this year. It was disappointing to lose her last year,” Toth said.
Toth noted that Mazzola needs to improve her pacing technique for longer distances.
“She stays out in the front,” Toth said.
What Mazzola does have is a willingness to run extra mileage.
“She will always embrace that opportunity,” said Toth.