State Meet Concludes Legendary Cross-Country Season

Varsity girls celebrate their new streak as NCS Champions photo by Scott von Eschen

Varsity girls celebrate their new streak as NCS Champions
photo by Scott von Eschen

FRESNO, CALIFORNIA — At the state meet for Division 5 cross-country, Lick-Wilmerding concluded their best season ever with a 4th place finish for the girls and a 6th place finish for the boys team.

Both teams’ streak of victory began at the BCL Championships on November 8; they swept the Championships for the first time ever. The meet began with an excellent performance by the JV girls. Lick girls occupied five spots in the top ten: led by Marissa Fong ’16, winning the race with a time of 21:42, followed closely by Boo Kirkwood ’14 in 3rd and Kelowna Ostwald ’15 in 4th. Next came the JV boys’ race, including more legendary performances and an all-time record for Lick-Wilmerding. The boys finished first through seventh, led by Logan Pierce ’15, earning them a perfect score, the first time a team has accomplished this in BCL history.

xc 04But the epic achievements of Lick runners did not stop there. The varsity girls crushed rivals University and Convent by over 50 points to win the BCL Championships, the first championship ever taken home by Lick-Wilmerding’s varsity girls cross- country team. Seniors Molly Dicke and Andie von Eschen finished back-to-back in first and second; this was also the first time any Lick girl has individually won the race. Finally, the varsity boys had their race. Originally, they were seeded just behind Marin Academy. All members of the team, including coach Jeff Gardiner, knew it would be a difficult race. However, the boys pulled through with Matt Jenkins ’15 and Stephen Page ’15 finishing third and fourth, leading to a close victory over Marin Academy. By the end of the afternoon, after all the races were finished, Lick cross-country had demonstrated its prowess as the dominant school in BCL, bringing home four first-place trophies.

James Rich '15 photo by Scott von Eschen

James Rich ’15
photo by Scott von Eschen

The streak of excellence continued to the NCS Championships, where Lick had its highest scoring placement ever. For the first time ever, the Lick-Wilmerding girls varsity team took home the title of NCS Champions. On the morning of November 23 at Hayward High School, over 140 runners toed the starting line, all vying to become NCS Champions. The Lick-Wilmerding girls team, anticipating a close competition with Branson, set out to take the title of NCS Champions. They succeeded in their goal, edging out Branson by a mere three points. The team was led by excellent performances from Molly Dicke and Andie von Eschen who finished in second and fourth place, respectively.

The race featured impressive performances from the rest of the team as well, including one by Maddy Nakada ’16, who finished 21st, despite, less than 800 meters from the finish line, suffering from a fall that sprained her ankle. She got up and ran to a personal victory. The boys’ team also raced to a medal-winning third place finish. Stephen Page ’15, Corey Robinson ’14, and Matt Jenkins ’15 led the boys’ team by finishing consecutively in 16th, 17th and 18th place.

Corey Robinson '14 and Matt Jenkins '15 photo by Scott von Eschen

Corey Robinson ’14 and Matt Jenkins ’15
photo by Scott von Eschen

Both teams advanced to the State Meet in Fresno, California, where all the Division 5 cross- country teams who qualified congregated to contend for the state title. The girls’ team ran an extremely admirable race, lowering their 2012 score by 26 points, finishing in 4th place out of 22 teams. Molly Dicke ’14 had the highest placement of any Lick runner in history, with a 4th place individual finish. The boys team finished in their best place ever at 6th in the state, led by an incredible race from captain Corey Robinson ’14, who ran the third fastest time at states in Lick history. The team edged out anticipated rivals Athenian and Thacher. Lick-Wilmerding’s performance at the state championships capped off what coach Jeff Gardiner called “the team’s most successful…and most enjoyable season ever.”

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