Harvard-Westlake (HW) boys and girls varsity cross country teams finished their season with strong performances at the CIF Southern Section Cross Country Finals (CIF) Nov. 17 and the CIF State Cross Country Championships (State) Nov. 24.
HW girls placed second at CIF, led by top performers Daniela Quintero (1st in 17:12), Natalia Quintero (4th in 17: 27), India Spencer (43rd in 19:07), Isabelle Lawrence (54th in 19:17) and Alex Ankai (69th in 19:33). Daniela Quintero is the first HW athlete to win CIF Finals since Cami Chapus ’11 in 2010 and 2011.
HW boys placed seventh. Their leading individuals were Andrew Shibuya (8th in 15:28), Keon Mazdisnian (16th in 15:36), Peter Sykes (42nd in16:12), Zane Grenoble (72nd in 16:35) and Diego Ahmad (88th- 16:43).
Both the boys and girls performed well enough to qualify for State in Fresno, Calif. where they competed against the top teams in their division from across the state.
The girls team placed fourth at State. The top individuals were Daniela Quintero (2nd in 17:48), Natalia Quintero (4th in 17:54), India Spencer (68th in 19:50), Isabel Lawrence (70th in 19:50) and Alex Ankai (115th in 20:45).
Girls cross country now looks on to the bright future that lies ahead of them. The girls team members are still young talent, meaning that they’ll continue to improve and succeed for years to come. Of the nine varsity team members, seven of them are freshman and sophomores, and of the top five performers at the state competition, four are freshman and sophomores.
The boys team placed 14th at the state competition, led by Keon Mazdisnian (19th in 16:13), Andrew Shibuya (33rd in 16:27), Peter Sykes (107th in 17:17), Diego Ahmad (127th in 17:32) and Zane Grenoble (162nd in 18:04).
The boys team celebrated their many seniors that will graduate this year. Of the five top performers at State, four of them (Mazdisnian, Shibuya, Sykes and Grenoble) were seniors. The team will surely miss these valuable athletes next year, both as runners and as leaders.
Overall, team members enjoyed the team camaraderie and the experience of competing at the CIF and State meets.
“I really enjoyed cross country because the coaches fostered a great community and a spirit of teamwork. It was really cool to go to State,” Stephen Purdum ’22 said.
Members of the program also seemed to be proud of the team’s immense success.
“I had such an amazing experience. I really enjoyed all the people on the team, and everyone was super supportive, no matter your level, and there are some super amazing individuals on the team that we can look up to,” Jane Hamilton ’22 said.