On Saturday, August 31st, at Cerritos Regional County Park, the Loyola cross country team participated in its first race of the year, the Great Cow Run. With a total of 1,088 people in the four different races Loyola participated in, this meet was the Cubs’ first taste of outside competition.
The Freshmen were the first Cubs to race Saturday. Led by frontrunner Jake Ratkovich, who finished 8th overall, Loyola came in fourth behind ML King, Hart, and Ayala. “It was my first meet at Loyola,” Ratkovich said. “Though it was nerve-racking at first, it was a fun experience, and I’m glad our team did well.”
Next came the varsity race, which featured Senior Anthony Stone in first place followed shortly by Junior Zachary Zambrano in fourth. Unfortunately, the varsity team also fell to ML King by 11 points. Still, there were plenty of positives, as Richard Moreno, a Sophomore on varsity, explains, “A few months ago, many people didn’t think that we’d be very good this year. This race proves that we are able to compete, and shows the hard work we put in. We are definitely headed in the right direction.”
After the varsity team finished, the Sophomores raced, and it wasn’t close: The Cubs outscored their closest opponent, Poly, by a whopping 43 points. Seven of the top fifteen finishers in the race were from Loyola. Dane Utley, the top Sophomore of the race, said, “Our team did very well. Our packing was phenomenal, and hopefully we can continue that throughout the season.”
Last came the junior varsity race, which had both Juniors and Seniors. Loyola, led by Josh Weiss, the second-place finisher, had four runners in the top ten, and they won with the lowest point total of the day for the Cubs.
Though it is early in the season, Loyola Cross Country has shown that it is primed for a great season at all levels. With their goal to compete in the state meet, the Cubs will confidently look forward to their upcoming meets.