Verdon, Bayliss win Stanford Cross Country Invite titles

High school cross country teams compete in the Stanford Invitational because of the top-flight talent in the races.
Campolindo High’s Carrie Verdon and San Ramon Valley’s Christine Bayliss battled that talent and were victorious in their prospective divisions Saturday.
Verdon and Karlie Garcia of Oakmont-Roseville were side-by-side in the lead at the two-mile mark at Stanford Golf Course. But Verdon pulled away in the final mile to post the fastest high school girls time of the day (16 minutes, 59 seconds for the 3.1 mile course) to win the Division III race. She also led her squad to the team title, one of four team championships by East Bay high schools at the invitational.
“She’s pushing, I need to push. I need to break away from her,” said Verdon about her mindset in the final mile.
Bayliss, a freshman in her second varsity race, led at the one-mile mark of the Division II girls race and was side-by-side with Addi Zerrenner of Dos Pueblos-Goleta at the two-mile mark. Bayliss couldn’t totally break away from Zerrenner until approximately the final quarter-mile of the race, when she bolted to a four-second win with a time of 18:00.
“I really liked the course and I loved that there was a lot of competition because it helped to push me,” Bayliss said.
St. Joseph Notre Dame opened the meet with a team victory in the Division V boys race. Senior Nick Ratto (third place, 15:52) led the way for the Pilots, who had a score of 81. Teammate Gabe Arias-Sheridan added a seventh-place finish (16:20).
Then St. Mary’s, led by a ninth-place finish from Stevie Greene (16:12) won the Division IV boys title (125 points).
Campolindo’s boys team, paced by a fifth-place finish from Thomas Joyce (15:40) won the Division III boys team title with a score of 58. Campolindo’s Vinson Compestine finished ninth individually (15:52) and Alhambra’s Evan Quigley was 10th (15:53).
The Cougar girls ended the meet with a team title in their Division III race (53 points). Rachel Johnson and Megan McMillan backed up Verdon with ninth (18:42) and 10th-place (18:43) finishes respectively.
Monte Vista’s Trevor Fuhriman placed second in the Division I boys race (15:49). De La Salle placed two runners in the top 10 in that race — Evan Molineux (fifth, 15:54) and Luke Williams (seventh, 16:09).
In the Division IV girls race, St. Mary’s Spencer Moore placed fourth (18:37). In the Division V girls race, Holy Names’ Julia Gullikson was fifth (19:34).

Phil Jensen