Montgomery Vikings XC, freshly clad in new uniforms and armed with the arrival of speedy young reinforcements, kicked of their 2017 pre-season competition with a solid showing at Spring Lake Park on August 25 at the Bob Shor Invitational.
The invitational, formerly known as the Super Septo, was hosted by Santa Rosa High and renamed after the legendary starter and track & field official Bob Shor. Shor, who was the primary starter for Montgomery’s Viking Opener, passed away earlier in 2017. The meet included competition from NBL and NCL II schools including Casa Grande, Cardinal Newman, Santa Rosa, Rancho Cotate and Technology.
The beginnings of Montgomery’s developing JV squad opened their season on a new 2.1 mile course created just for the invitational this year. Led by freshman Jaden Hernandez, top marks included Hernandez’s 14:23 (6:51), freshman Hayden Dalsing 15:03 (7:10) and freshman Ben Howe 15:33 (7:24). To round out the top five, JV captain and veteran junior Jake Howe registered a 17:04 (8:08), followed closely by freshman Tan Luong with a 17:07 (8:09).
The JV girls were unable to field a complete team for the first meet of the season, but still showed solid first-time performances on the 2.1 mile course from freshman Serena Goshgarian and veteran and JV girls captain Jessica Celli.
On the varsity girls side, returning sophomore and 2016 NBL XC all-league second team runner Mariah Briceno led the Viking women with a 4th place finish in a strong season opening time of 20:53 (6:51) on the traditional 3.05-mile home course. 2016 NBL XC all-league first team and senior Jasmine Becker finished second for Viking women in 21:22 (7:01), followed by three freshman Isabel Holmes 24:08 (7:55), Fiona Sweet 25:31 (8:22) and Abbey Colvin 25:32 (8:22) to round out the top five. Junior Savannah Goshgarian completed the remainder of the women’s varsity squad with a 25:57 (8:31), while returning junior and NCS MOC Track & Field qualifier Grace Mackey was briefly sidelined with a minor injury.
The varsity boys race delivered a nail-biting finish with returning varsity junior and NCS MOC Track & Field qualifier Brent Oru-Craig battling it out with Santa Rosa’s Langston Hay for a nearly-200m stride for stride battle ultimately won by Hay for the race win. Oru-Craig’s second place finish still registered an early season 42-second PR for him with his 16:47 (5:30) mark, undoubtedly a result of his consistent summer training.
Coming in second for the Viking men was 2016 NBL XC all-league third team and NCS MOC Track & Field qualifier Jacob Williams with a solid 17:33 (5:45). With NBL XC all-league third team and 3200m specialist Kyle Theurkauf out of town for the first meet, junior Brandon Alvarado came in third for Viking men, also registering an early season PR from dedicated summer training knocking 11 seconds off his time from 2016 in an 18:52 (6:11). NBL XC all-league second team and senior Ramon Cruz, still coming off an injury that benched him for track season, opened his season with a 19:05 (6:16). Returning varsity member and junior Justin Richter completed the top five with a 19:10 (6:17). Freshman Sebastian Herbst came in sixth for the Vikings with a 20:58 (6:52), followed by senior Charles Fisher with a 21:03 (6:54) and sophomore Kibby Tesfamichael with a 21:52 (7:10).
The Vikings will next contest at the Rancho Cotate Invitational for the JV squads and the varsity squads will return to San Francisco’s Lowell Invitational in Golden Gate Park.