Boys’ Cross Country ranked 11th in state

This year, the boys’ cross country team had three goals: 1) Be the fastest team in school history, 2) Be Marmonte League champions, and 3) Make it to the state meet.

“We’re trying to basically, as a coaching staff, help those kids achieve those goals that they set for themselves,” Martin Maciel, coach, said.

So far, the team has achieved their first goal of being the fastest team the school has ever seen. The team speed is determined by adding up the times of the top five runners for the three mile race. The previous school record was 78 minutes and one second. This year, the team’s top speed is 77 minutes and 15 seconds.

Low scores in recent meets have lead the team to high rankings across the board. Currently, the team is ranked number one in the Marmonte League and number 11 in the state of California.

In a recent Cluster Meet on Oct. 13, the team did not run as well as they had hoped to, according to Ethan Ronk, sophomore. “But it’s more motivation to run better at our next meet, which is Mt. Sac,” Ronk added.

At the Mt. Sac meet on Oct. 22, the runners raced against top teams from across the country.  In order to attend Mt. Sac in the first place, Maciel had to submit running times for approval so that the team would be invited to the meet. They placed 18th out of 19 teams.

In the final league meet on Nov. 3, the team must place either first or second in order to win the league overall.

The last time the boys’ cross country team has made it to the state level was in 1991; NP was still a Division 3 school. “For us to get in as a Division 1 school would be a phenomenal feat,” Maciel said. “When Ethan (Duffy, senior) was a sophomore, the team wasn’t that good …  And then last year they got a little bit better and they were runner ups in league, and then this year to be where they’re at, against people in our league … I think is pretty amazing. But it really speaks to the kids, their goal setting ability, and their ability to come together as a team to really work towards achieving that goal.”

Duffy explained that this year in particular, the team has many strong runners that are all working together to bring the team success.

“We have some really good runners,” Duffy said. “Ethan Ronk, who is a sophomore, is going to be probably one of the fastest runners in our school history. Nathaniel Garner, junior, is a number two runner. He really pushes the younger guys to run harder in practices and then also is kind of ushering himself into a leader position on the team.”

Ronk commented on the amount of freshmen and sophomores currently running on the varsity team. The top five runners are Duffy, Ronk, Nate Garner, junior, and Nico Young and Jace Aschbrenner, freshmen. “It’s just crazy how young the team is and how well we’re doing, and that we’re just going to keep getting better in the years in the future,” Ronk said.

Although the team is in a good position now, they must keep up their streak of success in order to make it onto the state round, which Duffy described as the “ultimate goal”.

“We’ve all improved a significant amount from the start of the season,” Ronk added. “We put in a lot of hard work this season and it’s starting to pay off.”

2 Comments

  1. Derek Morton

    January 7, 2019 at 7:56 am

    I was a member of NPHS XC AND TRACK Team from 1975 to 1979. Our coach MIKE STEWART is the most LOVING and CARING MAN EVER IN MY LIFE!!! I MISS U MIKE!!I was on 2 frosh/soph MARMONTE LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP TEAMS!!!75,76!! VENTURA COUNTY CHAMPION 77 on JUNIOR VARSITY!!IN my junior year in track 78 I ran 4:27 at C.I.F Prelims.I lost only 1 race all season!!STEW as we called him created “RUNNER OF THE YEAR”!!!I AM the 1st RUNNER in NPHS HISTORY To RECEIVE THIS HONOR!!! I was PROUD to have been in TOP TEN in the MILE and TWO MILE!!! ON 2 SCHOOL RECORDS for the DISTANCE MEDLEY(MILE)..TWO MILE RELAY(ANCHOR LEG)!!

  2. Derek Morton

    January 7, 2019 at 8:06 am

    WAY TO GO PANTHERS!! FINALLY C.I.F. XC. CHAMPS!!!! ALL MY LOVE AND RESPECT TO YOU!!!YOU ARE THE GREATEST XC.TEAM IN N.P.H.S. HISTORY!!! PLEASE FEEL FREE TO CONTACT ME!!! YOU HAVE MADE THIS OLDMAN CRY WITH PRIDE!!! LOVE YOU ALL!!! PANTHERS!!! PANTHERS!!! PANTHERS!!! BLACK AND GOLD FOREVER!!! BEST WISHES FOR NEXT SEASON!!!! I BLEED BLACK N GOLD!!! YOU ALL ARE PART OF N.P.H.S. HISTORY!!!

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