RECAP Thomsen, Soobrian, Pretre Brothers Lead at Lowell


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SAN FRANCISCO -- Montgomery (NC) sophomore Hanne Thomsen came home in 15 minutes, 14.0 seconds to lead the marks at the Lowell Invitational on September 10 at Golden Gate Park.

The heat wave that had battered the Bay Area all week broke, at least in San Francisco, with cool and foggy conditions greeting the runners.

Thomsen won her race by 47 seconds as she follows up a tremendous freshman season, when she won California Interscholastic Federation titles in cross country as well as the 3200-meter championship at the State Track and Field Championships.

"That was just kind of the plan, to go hard and see what I could do," Thomsen said. "I've been feeling pretty strong recently. I'm just happy and excited for the season."

Sonoma Academy (NC) junior Athena Ryan placed second, covering the picturesque 2.93-mile course in 16:01.0.

Granite Bay (SJ) edged Saugus (SS) for the team championship in the race, 88 points to 94. Emily Allison, a junior, finished third overall (16:05.9) to lead the Grizzly Bears. Sophomore Grace Baxter was eighth for Granite Bay in 16:30.3. Freshman Lucia Pearson placed seventh to lead Saugus.

In the other girls varsity race, Los Altos (CC) senior Lauren Soobrian won in 15:56.6 which was particularly impressive as she was coming off of a case of COVID-19 in mid-August. Soobrian said she has been suffering from some chest pain but is OK now.

"It felt really good overall," Soobrian said. "And we did really well as a team. We ran as a pack, especially towards the beginning. It was really good."

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Who had the top performance at Lowell?

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The Eagles looked strong in the team scoring, finishing with five of the top 17 for 43 points and the victory in the race. Soobrian's sophomore sister Emily Soobrian was fifth in 16:10.0, junior Jasleen Sidhu and senior Ella Fadil were 13-14 in 16:24.0 and 16:24.7, respectively, and senior Fiona Bodkin was 17th in 16:31.7.

The Menlo School also had a sibling act as brothers Justin Pretre and Landon Pretre went 1-2 in the Varsity Boys race Division 2. Justin finished in 13:20.1 and Landon in 13:23.0.

Senior Justin Pretre said the strategy for the two of them was to wait behind the pack.

"We waited until less than a mile to go to turn it on," Justin Pretre said.

Said sophomore Landon Pretre, "The first mile and a half, it felt alright, it was mostly downhill. There was some pushing and shoving. But going up that first hill into the polo fields, I just really lost a lot of the juice I had."

Landon Pretre said the two were hoping to go 14:10, so they were really happy with the time.

Menlo School was sixth in the boys scoring with 227 points. Granada (NC) had a nice pack, finishing 6-11-14-17-18 for 66 points and an easy victory. Senior Dheeraj Gurusamy led the Matadors with that sixth-place finish in 13:38.5.

In the other boys varsity race, Mountain View (CC) senior Evan Markelz had a strong performance, winning in 13:48.0. He said he had some problems in the middle of the race but had a strong kick.

"There was a sand trap," Markelz said. "I wasn't expecting it."

The Spartans took seventh in the team scoring with 259 points. Sequoia (CC) won the team title with 115 points.

In the girls non-varsity race, Westmont (CC) junior Kiarra D'Arcangelo was impressive, winning in 17:22. D'Arcangelo is coming back from a sprained ankle suffered playing soccer that cost her the spring track season.

Clovis North (CS) was dominant in the team scoring, taking four of the top six places and winning with 33 points.

Bellarmine (CC) went 1-2-3 in one of the non-varsity boys races to run away with the title with 36 points. Junior Alex Manens was first (15:14.0), followed by junior Jude Hammers (15:33.4) and senior Jonathan Park (15:36.7).

Granada took seven of the first eight places in the other boys non-varsity race to win with 17 points. Junior Erik Bromley was the individual champion in 14:32.4 followed by sophomore George Mikhael (14:36.8) and junior Tanner Gray (14:47.3).

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

Photos by Daniel Hernandez