Boys cross country races into second place at NCS Meet of Champions


Ellis Chamberlin

Runners hold the second place flag after the award ceremony at NCS

The AWHS boys cross country team took second place at the North Coast Section (NCS) Meet of Champions on Saturday, Nov. 20, securing their spot in next week’s California’s State Championship in Fresno, on Nov. 27.

AWHS cross country has been no stranger to the NCS Championships over the years, winning the Division 4 team finals in 2019, 2018, 2017 and 2015. This year, the expectations were high once again.

The weather was perfect for the three-mile course at Hayward High School in the East Bay, but many of the Falcon runners were still overcoming an illness that struck the team during the past week. That didn’t seem to slow them down, however, with all seven runners finishing in the top 30 overall.

They did amazing. The team showed a lot of grit out there.

— Robyn Berry

The first AWHS runner to cross the finish line was senior Nate Wolford, coming in thirteenth place with a time of 16:16 minutes. Senior Evan Lee followed in fifteenth place, senior Jonah Grubbs at sixteenth, senior Eric Overaa at twentieth, junior Luke Calegari at twenty fifth, senior Ryan Wilcox at twenty ninth, and sophomore Ryan Ferguson at thirtieth. Coach Robyn Berry had high praise for these boys and their awesome performance. 

“They did amazing. The team showed a lot of grit out there. Nate hasn’t run in a week and he went out and battled,” Berry said. “The goal at the race was just to qualify for states.”

AWHS came into the race determined to take first place. However, they were defeated by Albany High School, largely due to their illnesses.

“We all kind of thought that it wasn’t anyone’s best race. Personally, I felt kinda sick. We got the job done and that’s what we wanted to do,” Nate said.

The stakes are raised once again next week with the top runners in the state competing for the championship. 

“The goal is to podium,” Berry said.“Hopefully, if we’re feeling good, we can do that.”