Boys and Girls Cross Country
Marty Dugard has resided over one of the most dominant girls cross country teams in CIF history. The Lions have won the Trinity League, CIF-SS and CIF State Cross Country Division 4 Championship a record three consecutive years. It’s a stretch that has been unparalleled and Dugard believes that the Lions still have fight left in them.
When asked about his outlook on the 2013 season, Dugard responded with something that might seem like hyperbole. But when looking at the team’s track record in recent years, it’s a statement that looms large.
“I honestly think this is going to be our best season ever,” Dugard said. “I want to win two state trophies (boys and girls) and I think we could do it.”
A key piece to the girls team’s hopes at another string of titles will be junior Ashley Geisler, who recently suffered a stress reaction but is on the mend and rehabbing. Geisler finished 14th overall at the state meet in 2012 and played an integral role in the Lions tight, top of the rotation placement in races, which became their trademark.
Dugard pegged sophomore transfer Charlotte Owen as a runner who will help add depth to the roster and could possibly have a breakout year.
The boys cross country team may not have a runner who will finish on the podium week in and week out, but they have developed a tight pack running mentality over the offseason, which Dugard believes will give them an edge in the major meets. Dugard said his current top five runners are all finishing their races within 45 seconds of each other. Dugard stressed that on any given day, it can be senior Nic Fracassi leading the way or it could be junior Anthony Mariconda.
The Lions’ first real test on their way to their lofty goals will be at the Trinity League Prelims on October 2.
*A Message from Coach Dugard
The Running Lions competed in dominant fashion at Friday’s Trinity League finals. The girls varsity won their third straight Trinity League championship, with Ashley Geisler, Colby Lindholm, Brooke Kunzelman, and Kylee Fracassi earning All-league honors.
The frosh-soph boys also claimed a league championship, led by overall winner Andrew Burkhardt. In the boys varsity race, junior Nic Fracassi finishing eighth overall and being named to the all-league team. Now its on to CIF postseason competition for the Running Lions.
Next up: CIF Prelims at Mt. SAC Saturday, November 10.
Go Running Lions!
The JSerra Running Lions cross country team once again showed why they are among California’s elite distance running programs, taking a pair of second place finishes at Friday’s Mt. SAC Invitational. This is the largest and most prestigious cross country event in the nation, attracting more than 10,000 runners. Athletes of the meet were Nic Fracassi and Conner Thomsen for the boys, and Ashley Geisler and Colby Lindholm for the girls.
Next up for the Running Lions: Trinity League Finals on November 2.
Go Running Lions!
By Marty Dugard
The JSerra Running Lions Cross Country teams returned from Mammoth Lakes, capping a week of intense high altitude training as they prepare for another march to the state title.
“It was our toughest week of training ever,” said Coach Marty Dugard, set to begin his eighth year as head coach of the harriers. “Two workouts each day, 2-3 hours of running, and our annual seven-mile time trial straight up Mammoth Mountain. I couldn’t be more proud of how the athletes persevered and pushed themselves to new limits.”
This season marks a watershed in JSerra Cross Country, as the girls team hopes to win its third consecutive Trinity League, CIF and State Championship. The boys team, led by junior captains Max Allen and Nic Fracassi, were sixth at State in 2011 and hope to win it all in 2012.
The Running Lions begin their march to the State meet on September 8, with the Laguna Hills Invitational. The State Meet will be held at Woodward Park in Fresno on November 24.
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