RECAP Rogers, Peretti Sizzle on Hot Day at Crystal Springs


BELMONT -- Tommy Rogers and Bella Peretti were the individual standouts on Saturday at the Serra Invitational at Crystal Springs Cross Country Course.

It was an increasingly hot day on the San Francisco Peninsula with temperatures in the 80s for the later races. One runner was taken from the course by paramedics and a few others had to take treatment after their race.

Rogers, a senior for Serra (CC), won the championship varsity boys race in a personal best of 15 minutes, 25.0 seconds on the 2.95-mile course. He was five seconds clear of second-place finisher Elliot Daniels of Prospect (CC) (15:30.2). Oscar Gomez of De La Salle (NC) was next in 15:37.5 with Julian Vargas of St. Francis (CC) next in 15:38.8.

"I came in with a plan to stick with the top pack," Rogers said. "I know my time is strong. I've been running strong lately and placing high.

"I just came through first place at the end."

Rogers said there's a strategy to attacking the course.

"The key to running well is stick with the top guys and just know your ability," he said. "At the second hill, the cardiac hill, you've got to stay strong past the hill. It goes uphill past the hill. That last half mile from the cardiac to the last half mile mark, you've got to push it. That's where I took the lead and then held it from 800 meters and pushed it the last 400."

Rogers said he did think the warm temperature affected the race.

"Perfect weather would be 60 degrees, a little foggy," he said. "I think that was the best race I could have run in that weather. But I think I can run stronger, too."

Serra trains and competes on the Crystal Springs course so Rogers knows it well.

"Hopefully, our next league meet will be a little cooler, later in the day, and I can get an even better PR," Rogers said.

Peretti had a tighter finish. The senior from Pioneer (CC) beat Prospect (CC) freshman Kylie Hoorneart to the line, winning in 18:00.1 to 18:01.4. Peretti was coming back from a TFL strain that knocked her out for two weeks. So said her goals were modest.

"My game plan was just to do my best," she said. "I haven't run in over two weeks. I wanted to try to PR but if it didn't happen, it was OK, I just wanted to put in my all.

"I had to really rest, try and lower my mileage, stretch, do all that stuff. It was really hard because I love running and I hate taking a rest but it worked out in the end."

Now that she's back, Peretti's goals are to make it to the California Interscholastic Federation championships and PR there.

Dougherty Valley (NC) won both team titles. The boys team scored 77 points to beat out De La Salle (104) and St. Francis (153). The girls scored 50 points, edging out Tamalpais (NC), which scored 56.

In the other boys varsity race, Nicholas Guzman, a senior from Gilroy (CC), won in 15:50.8. Milpitas (CC) junior Sahil Raj just beat out Lynbrook (CC) senior Theodore Lai for second, 16:11.1-16:11.5. Westmont (CC) sophomore Tauren Mitchell won the other girls varsity race in 19:14.2.

Serra senior Aidan Lew won the boys junior varisty blue race in 18:26.3. Bellarmine (CC) junior Dhruva Bhagwat was second in 18:28.5.

Palo Alto (CC) senior William Dike won the boys junior varsity gold race in 17:30.1. Dougherty Valley senior Madhav Viswesvaran was second in 17:40.6.

The junior varsity girls race was won by Romy Kiessling, a freshman from Palo Alto. Her time was 20:45.5.

Mills (CC) sophomore Jacqueline Pan won the girls frosh/soph race in 20:41.3.

Pioneer's Ethan Mosher won the boys sophomore race in 17:25.0. Colin Jubert of Leland (CC) won the boys freshman race in 18:17.2.

The Nueva School of San Mateo swept the secondary boys and girls varsity races team scoring. Bellarmine won the junior varsity boys blue scoring while St. Francis won the junior varsity boys gold. Archbishop Mitty (CC) was the winner in the junior varsity girls.

St. Francis also won the girls frosh/soph team race. The sophomore boys team title went to Bellarmine. As did the freshman boys championship.

Damin Esper is a freelance writer and regular contributor to MileSplitCA.