PRs for Miller, Pesta

GHS girls win 23-35; boys lose 25-30
Gilroy – There was nobody in sight, but that didn’t stop Gilroy sophomore Kathleen Miller from running a personal best.

Derek Pesta and Jaime Reyes ran behind Tyre Johnson, but that didn’t stop the Mustangs’ runners from running personal bests.

It was a day of beat the clock for the GHS runners at Christmas Hill Park. In team competition, Palma beat Gilroy 25-30, and the Mustangs’ girls defeated Notre Dame 23-35.

Cross country is the one high school sport where team records against other league teams mean relatively nothing. It’s the clock that the coaches and runners are watching. Monday, the GHS coaches and runners were pleased with the times.

“It helps a lot running behind someone like that,” second-place finisher Pesta said of Johnson, who set the pace with a sizzling 16:23 on the hilly 3-mile course. “We ran the first mile faster than we ever had.”

Pesta was speaking for himself and Reyes, who ran 16:43 and 16:44, respectively.

“No question it helped,” Reyes added. “We’ve been pushing each other and today we were pushed by (Johnson).”

Miller embodied the “loneliness of the long distance runner,” running by herself for most of the race. It didn’t stop her from clocking an impressive 19:30, the first time she has been under 20 minutes this season.

“I think more about the clock,” Miller said. “By CCS, I will be trying to get under 19. The main thing for me is to keep the PRs (personal records) coming, and training harder.”

Freshman Paty Hernandez followed Miller in her best time, 20:06. Fourth-place finisher Brandie Rodriguez also turned in a personal best in 21:04.

“I use her as my pacer,” said Rodriguez, who tries to keep Miller in sight during races.

“The times are getting better, and that’s what we strive for,” co-coach Art Silva said.

MONTEREY BAY INVITATIONAL

Monday’s meet came on the heels of some exceptional performances by GHS runners Saturday in the event at Toro Park. The boys were second in the regular varsity meet and the girls were fifth in the Elite Division, despite missing Christine Bobula who was ill.

“The kids were awesome,” co-coach Cathy Silva said. “Sixteen of our 19 runners set PRs on the course. Their times have dropped so much since the beginning of the season.”

Gilroy’s 77 points in the boys’ race trailed Aptos, which won with 49 and had the individual winner, Rylan Hunt in 15:43. Pacing the Mustangs was Pesta, sixth in 16:51; Reyes, seventh in 16:58; Juan Velasquez, 16th in 17:32; and Manual Cazas, 23rd in 17:55.

Carmel won the Elite Division girls and Taylor Johnson of San Lorenzo Valley was the individual winner in 18:21. Top GHS runners were Miller, eighth in 19:41; Rodriguez, 12th in 20:34; and Rodriguez (22:11) and Kristina Schmidt (23:53).

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