Webb cross country sweeps at San Joaquin League Finals


Geoff Owers

The WSC and VWS cross country teams smile with their new league champions plaque.

Webb cross country teams once again dominated at the San Joaquin League Finals and emerged victorious for the sixth consecutive and fifth consecutive year for WSC and VWS, respectively.

Held at Irvine Regional Park, the San Joaquin League Finals is the third league meet of the season and has the most stakes out of all other clusters. The previous league clusters took place at Webb on September 24th,, and at Avalon High School on October 15th.

League champions and all-league members are determined after runners cross the finish line at League Finals. An algorithm takes into account each of the league meets. The results of the first two league meets each make up 25% of a team’s score, respectively, while the results of League Finals make up 50%. Teams and runners with the most points at the end of the algorithm will place in the San Joaquin League and continue on to CIF Prelims.

Both the VWS and WSC cross country teams had won first place at all previous meets. Lily Miller (‘21) finished first at each. Michael Martinez (‘21) won the league cluster hosted at Webb, and Liam Gerken (‘20) won at Avalon High School. Webb was predicted to perform well at the finals, but the opponents were ready to challenge the title.

At the meet, WSC varsity ran first. Dean Woelfle (‘21) finished first in the San Joaquin League. WSC had a finish order of 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 10, and 11. The team finished with a score of 16 points, beating second place by a whopping 53 points. 

VWS varsity ran second. Lily dominated League Finals for the third year in a row. VWS had a finish order of 1, 2, 4, 5, 8, 9, and 11. Overall, the team finished first with a total of 20 points. 

An awards ceremony was held after the meet. Six WSC runners including Michael Martinez (‘21), Frank Hu (‘20), Liam Gerken (‘20), JD O’Donnell (‘20), Nick Theobald (‘22), and Johnathan Maschler (‘21) were named to the First Team All-League cross country Team. Dean was named the San Joaquin League’s most valuable runner. 

Dean said, “Throughout the season, I wasn’t really aiming for League MVP. I was behind in the rankings, having started the season off a little slow, and was content with just doing well as a team. As League Finals grew closer, Coach told me that it was still possible. It’s funny, following the race the team told me that I had still lost, so I was blown away when they called out my name. Our team this year continues to exceed my expectations, breaking times that have held for decades.” 

Four VWS runners including Cindy Nie (‘23), Alice Hou (‘20), Amelie Cook (‘20), and Sunny Yu (‘22) were named to the First Team All-League cross country team. For the third year in a row, Lily was named San Joaquin League’s most valuable runner. 

Lily said, “It feels amazing to be named for the third year in a row. I think the team provides so much support, and the team really motivates me, especially when I see them cheering. I am so excited for CIF. I am really hoping to qualify for state and run a PR there.” 

Not only were the runners rewarded for their hard work this season, both WSC and VWS head coaches Brian Caldwell and Geoff Owers were named Coach of the Year for their respective teams. 

The varsity cross country teams are excited to continue competing in the postseason. Please wish them luck as they prepare for CIF Division 5 Southern Section Prelims on early Saturday morning, November 16th, 2019.