Runners ready for new season
By Terry L. Wilson
The Scripps Ranch High School cross country team will soon be off and running as the 2021 season challenges a bevy of new as well as experienced distance-running student athletes.
Head coach Chuck Warren has been the man behind the whistle since 2012. The team lost several of its top runners last year, and now coach Warren is preparing the next group for this upcoming season.
“Last year, we had a very talented team of boys and girls and, unfortunately, because of COVID, we never got to run the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) league finals,” Warren said. “Our boys might have been the co-favorites to win it. Now, our top two runners have graduated. Giancarlo da Sliva will be running for Santa Clara and Caden Farrow will run for Loyola Marymount University. I would like to add Delphine Maurer as well. She was a two-year team captain and a tremendous leader on our team. Like Giancarlo and Caden, she graduated last June, but will be competing in college at Western Washington University.”
With the coronavirus pandemic restrictions loosened for the time being, the team looks forward to an uninterrupted season that, hopefully, will take its members all the way to the State Championships with a new crop of runners.
“We have some very good runners this year. Our girls team is especially strong. Out of the top 10, we have all but one girl returning from last year. We have two very talented juniors: Chloe Ellermeyer who was our number one girl for the last two years. She also went to the State Championships two years ago as an individual. Another girl that’s getting stronger every year is Michaela Martin. She and Chloe also run track and field. So, they are our two strongest girls,” Warren said.
“On the boys side we don’t really have two stars like we did last year, but we do have a very solid team of very good runners,” he said. “Right now, I think Ken Belt and Brian Maguire are the runners to keep an eye on this year.”
Sept. 10 is the starting date for the cross country team’s first meet in Bonita at the annual South Bay Invitational. But at this time, it’s a guessing game as to how many runners will be trying out for the team.
“Most of our Invitational meets are in September. We start our league competition in October, then the post-season begins in November. We had the largest team of any sport here at Scripps Ranch with well over 100 kids on the team. But that was before COVID. Because of the virus, last year’s team was down to 42 kids. So, it will be interesting to see how many we get this year,” Warren said.
“The returning runners have been training hard all summer,” Warren explained one week before press time. “But right now, we are in a ‘no contact’ period between the coaches and the athletes, so I won’t be able to see the team until next week. Until then, the team captains take over the leadership roles and keep the workouts going.
The team was scheduled to begin official team practices on Aug. 9.