Oakland Section XC Season in Review



As was the case with the San Francisco Section, unhealthful air quality as a result of smoke from the Camp Fire that destroyed Paradise, forced the cancellation of the Oakland Section Cross Country Championships. 

Lingering smoke forced Air Quality Index levels above what is determined to be safe for outdoor activity the weekend before and the first part of the week leading into the State Championships. Oakland and San Francisco were forced to cancel. Central Coast conducted its meet on a Sunday. The North Coast Section moved its meet to the Tuesday before the State Championships and even then, AQI levels elevated above acceptable levels midway through and the meet had to be stopped exactly halfway through the 10-race schedule. 

In Oakland, Caroline Garrett (pictured #1005 above) was not given an opportunity to defend her section title. Neither was the Oakland Technical girls team allowed to try to extend its section title streak, nor was the Skyline boys team provided a chance to defend the section crown it won in 2017. 

Because of the championship meet cancelation, the section determined which teams and individuals would advance to the State Meet. The Oakland Technical girls and Skyline boys were waived onto Fresno. As were the following individual representatives: Eleanor Wikstrom (Skyline) among the girls, and William Webster (Oakland Tech), Ben Nicholas (Oakland Tech), Nathan Lee (Oakland Tech, pictured), Alejandro Leon (Oakland Charter), and Emerson Velasquez (American Indian) among the boys. The latter two competed in Division V while everyone else slotted into Division II. 

GIRLS RUNNER OF THE YEAR


CAROLINE GARRETT (Oakland Tech, Sr.) -- Won at Ed Sias, Farmer Invitational, and Raiders Regional. Placed fourth in the elite race at Mt. SAC, 11th at Stanford, 17th at Foot Locker West Regional, and 18th at State in Division II. ... Competed at Woodward Park in the State Championships for the fourth consecutive year. ... Posted 17:31.50 PR for 3-miles in winning the Farmer Invitational at Hayward while helping Oakland Tech to a runner-up team placing. ... Foot Locker All-West Region. 

BOYS RUNNER OF THE YEAR


WILLIAM WEBSTER (Oakland Tech, Jr.) -- Consistently the top individual in the section, including a victory at Raiders Regional and an 83rd-place finish in the Division II race at the State Meet, 88 places ahead of the next OK section finisher. ... Set 5K PR with his 16:24.40 effort at Woodward Park to cap off a season of PRs, that also included an 11:27.10 (2-mile) at Ed Sias, and 16:39.00 (3-mile) at Mt. SAC.

GIRLS TEAM OF THE YEAR


OAKLAND TECHNICAL -- Led by seniors Caroline Garrett and Ayla Frost, Oakland Tech placed 12th at State in a deep and competitive Division II field of 24 teams. That despite a season interrupted by poor air quality that kept them from having a section championship warm-up. ... OT also got scoring at State from junior Maya Ades (#1004 above) senior Emily Mansell and senior Nell Schafer. The other two to take the line at Woodward Park, Clair Garrett and Josie Goodson, are both freshmen. 

BOYS TEAM OF THE YEAR


SKYLINE -- This team, led by junior William Boyd (pictured) and senior Jacob Hackett, got the nod to represent the section at the State Meet. In the October Raiders Regional, Skyline defeated Oakland Tech, 32-33, going 2-3-4-11-12. Senior Daniel Perry, was the third scorer and a difference-maker, running 17:26.29, more than 1:24 ahead of Oakland Tech's next finisher. And, while Oakland Tech went 8-9-10 to close out its scoring, Skyline seniors Bryce Harrison and Hong Tan went 11-12, beating a OT runner for those final crucial deciding points.

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