The PMS Cross Country team finished a successful season that ended after a championship race for 6th graders at MLK Middle School. Two Piedmonters were among the top ten finishers: Emilio Robers came in 10th for the 6th grade boys JV race and Olivia Nealon came in 9th for the 6th grade girls Varsity race. The boys B team placed third overall.
7th and 8th graders ran their championship race at Kennedy Grove Regional Recreation park in El Sobrante. The 1.3 mile course wrapped around the redwoods and up and down hills on rough terrain. But even the rain that fell earlier that day couldn’t dampen their spirits. In all, 353 kids showed up to compete from 23 different schools. And when it was all over, Piedmont Middle School had a lot to be proud of.
OVERALL TEAM RESULTS: Girls JV 1st Place, Boys JV 1st Place, Girls Varsity 4th, Boys Varsity 2nd Top 10 trophy recipients (given out grade separated):
Girls 7/8th JV (8th graders) – Zoe Snyder (4th by grade/10th overall), Xia Snyder (3rd by grade/7th O.A.), Gladwin Horsley (1st by grade/4th O.A.)
Girls 7/8th JV (7th graders)- Paige Young (4th by grade/6th O.A.), Kaya Kothari (2nd by grade/2nd O.A.)
Girls 7/8th Varsity (7th graders) – Viviane Oesterer (3rd by grade/4th O.A.)
Boys 7/8th JV (8th graders) – Nate Kaltner (10th by grade/20th O.A.), Alex Hattan-Kutter (5th by grade/7th O.A.), August Leonard (4th by grade/6th O.A.)
Boys 7/8th JV (7th graders) – Haden Milner (8th by grade/15th O.A.), Lucas Bekele (7th by grade/14th O.A.), Luca LaForte (6th by grade/13th O.A.), Dresden Schulte-Sasse (2nd by grade/4th O.A.)
Boys 7/8th Varsity (8th graders) – Miles Lee (10th by grade/12th O.A.), Aiden Morgan (9th by grade/11th O.A.), Cole Carnazzo (3rd by grade/4th O.A.), Sebastien Swain (1st by grade/1st O.A.)
Boys 7/8th Varsity (7th graders) – Jason Zee (11th by grade – missed 10th place by 0.9 seconds)
“Of all the 12 years Coach Christine Chapon and I have been coaching the middle school team, I must say this is probably one of the most tight and supportive groups of young athletes,” Coach Minori Tsuge said. “It was so much fun and the season just flew by!”
This year, the team had a high proportion of 8th graders. Some began in 6th grade, but a large number joined as 7th graders during track season. They stuck together and joined the XC season as 8th graders.
“The kids responded positively to the coaching team’s challenges we asked of them and stepped up their training as the weeks went by,” added Coach Tsuge. “In the last weeks of training, the effort and quality of racing they gave at the championship exceeded our expectations.” Coach Chapon said, “Thanks to the collaboration with Mr. Raul Jorcino and the support of the Recreation Department the Piedmont coaching team is aiming to run a very inclusive program, with the philosophy of equal access to team sports for students of all abilities.”
NOTE: The last sentence of this article was updated on Nov. 15 from “students of all ages” to “students of all abilities.”