On a cool, late-summer morning, some of the Central Valley’s top cross country runners got to showcase their strength and stamina at the Fresno City Invitational in Woodward Park Saturday.
The Clovis Community College Crush finished eighth in both the mens and womens races, but head coach Clayton Albertson said that although he wasn’t focused as much on the results, he was pleased at his teams’ performance.
“Our big focus for this first race is to go out and just be competitive throughout the duration of the whole race, and I thought for the most part, they did that. No one gave up, they stayed competitive the whole race. It was the first race and it was a great start,” Albertson said.
The highest place finisher on the men’s team for the Crush was freshman from Central High Seth Frazer. Frazer finished 41st overall with a time of 22:04.6 in the three-mile race.
Finishing third for the Crush was Russell Zelazo with a time of 22:16.7.
“He improved by almost a minute as well, so that was a really good step for the first meet of the season,” Albertson said of Zalazo.
The top finishers for Clovis on the women’s side of the ledger were sophomores Natalie Curtis and Lily Khan.
The two finished back-to-back, with Curtis in 40th place and a time of 21:33.9 and Khan 41st with a time of 21:35.0.
“That was a really big performance for [Khan]. She ran a huge personal best,” Alnertson said.
Albertson said that Khan bettered her performance from last year’s state meet by over a minute.
“I knew she was better than last year but I didn’t think she would run quite this fast.”
San Diego Mesa walked (or ran) away with first place on the men’s side while Glendale finished first for the women.
The Crush now have just about two weeks to gear up for the second meet of the season, the Lou Vasquez Invitational at Golden Gate Park in San Francisco on Sept. 19.