Granada Boys Cross Country Wins Five Out of Six Races at Mariner Invitational

The Varsity A Team just before their race

The Varsity A Team just before their race

Luther Hart, Reporter

On Saturday, October 15, Hayward high school hosted the Mariner Invitational on the same three-mile course used for the NCS championship race. After a third place finish at the Clovis Invitational the week prior, the varsity boys cross country team was heavily favored to win the meet. However, not only did Granada win the varsity race, they barely let other teams even compete for first, taking the win in the varsity boys A, varsity boys B, frosh-soph A, frosh-soph B, and junior varsity races.

Senior Roland Ruckman-Barnes holding up the first place plaque after the Varsity A team’s win

In fact, while the varsity A team had the fastest team time of the meet, the varsity B team (usually the JV team) also had the third fastest time of the meet, only behind Redwood and the Granada A team. Senior Roland Ruckman-Barnes had the best Granada time of the meet, running a 14:52 in the varsity A race, and Junior Tanner Gray had a breakout race, running 15:35 in the varsity B race.

When asked about how he felt during the race, senior Roland Ruckman-Barnes said, “In the first mile, Dheeraj was ahead of me… so I picked him off, and it helped motivate me for the rest of the season.”

The Granada girls also won the JV-open combined race, and had runners in second, third, fourth, fifth, and sixth place individually, with a total of 20 points. Junior Mia Lnenicka was also the fastest Granada girl of the day, running a 18:44.71 for three miles in the girls varsity race.

Senior Dheeraj Gurusamy also stated, “This is a really good look into the NCS course, and we now know how to race it properly.”

Not only did Granada have ten boys go under 16 minutes for the course, but the boys varsity A team also achieved a new team course record, running a combined 75 minutes and 35.31 seconds. Keep in mind that this is the same course used for the North Coast Section Championships, which some of the fastest teams in the state have ran in past years, including Granada’s boys team last year that placed second in the state. In fact, in all of the boys rated races, not a single team beat Granada, the closest being the frosh-soph race #2, to which Dublin lost by one point.

When asked about the upcoming EBAL championships, Junior Tanner Gray said “I want to try and win the race, I want to try and beat Erik”. Erik Bromley is currently one of the best JV runners, and while Tanner Gray had a better tie than him at the meet, they both raced in different heats.

Overall this shows the continued dominance of not only one of the most decorated teams at Granada, but of one of the top teams in the entire nation, with the varsity team hoping to be invited to the Nike Cross Nationals, or NXN, at the end of the season, a meet in which Nike picks the top 25 teams in the nation to race for the national title.