Granada Cross Country Boys Place 4th at the 41st Woodbridge Invitational, 1st at the Lowell Invitational

The Varsity Boys after winning the Lowell Invitational


The Varsity Boys after winning the Lowell Invitational

Luther Hart, Reporter

On Friday, September 16, the Granada boys cross country team placed fourth overall in the 41st Woodbridge Invitational, with a score of 180 in the sweepstakes race, the fastest race of the whole meet, competing against some of the tops teams in the entire nation. After winning the Lowell invitational the week prior in San Francisco on September 10, the team then headed down to Irvine to compete in the Woodbridge Invitational. Woodbridge is the biggest cross country invitational of the year not just for California, but for the entire United States, with over 12,000 athletes and about 400 teams racing the three mile course in the two day span of the meet, according to

Because of this placement, Granada beat teams ranked ahead of them in the national rankings, most notably Great Oak, the team keeping Granada at the number three spot in California according to’s pre-season rankings for teams. Because the number one team, Newbury Park, hasn’t raced their full varsity team yet, this means that Granada has the fastest three mile team in California so far this season. Granada is also ranked the fourth fastest three mile team in the nation as of right now, according to

“Woodbridge was fun… I went out fast and I raced fast,” stated senior Dheeraj Gurusamy.

The Granada tent at the Woodbridge Invitational, where all of the athletes are resting before their races. (Luther Hart)

As for individual athletes, seniors Dheeraj Gurusamy and Roland Ruckman-Barnes ran the first and second best times for Granada at Woodbridge, achieving a 14:22 across the three mile course. The next three times were Eeshan Singh with a 14:48, Luther Hart with a 14:50, and Liam Manley with a 14:55, meaning that the top five Granada runners in this race all achieved under fifteen minutes for three miles.

“I think I did a good job of moving up in the middle mile, but need to work on going out a bit faster in my races,” said senior Liam Manley.

Not just the top five boys ran well however, as the top seven JV boys competed in the second fastest race in the meet, the Varsity Boys Gold Race. The next seven boys runners also competed varsity in the third fastest race in the meet. The varsity girls team also raced in the girls sweepstakes that night, with their top runner being Jana Baron, coming in at 18:03 to finish the three mile course.

“Clovis should should be a good preview of the state meet, and I’m looking forward to running pretty fast against a very competitive field,” stated Manley when asked about the upcoming Clovis Invitational.

With this performance from the boys team, Granada plans to only move up in the national ranking during their next meet around the middle of October, the Clovis Invitational. The course is in Fresno, and happens to be the exact same course as the California State meet, and is one of the only time teams will be able to compete on the course before state championships in November. This meet, while not as big as Woodbridge, again, brings in some of the top talents in the nation, with Great Oak again facing off against Granada on this course.

The team most people are coming to this meet to see however is Newbury Park, with Clovis being their first big race this season with all of their top runners. Without even having raced this season, Newbury Park still holds the number one spot in the nation, however as seen in Woodbridge, many teams, including Granada, are not backing down this season, and want their shot at beating  the number one ranked team in the nation.