To outsiders, it’s challenging to figure out how good Half Moon Bay High School’s boys and girls cross-country teams can be.

Performances in invitational meets can’t give much of an indication since both teams are split up. Some run in varsity races at a meet, while others compete in grade-level meets.

But a review of how the Cougars did at Saturday’s Artichoke Invitational shows that Half Moon Bay will be a force to be reckoned with for the league and section meet, and that coach Paul Farnsworth has a challenge ahead figuring out which seven runners to put on the varsity.

Logan Marshall finished third in the Small School Varsity race, running the 2.33-mile course at Half Moon Bay High School in 12 minutes, 15 seconds. John Sorfleet looked strong in finishing 23rd in 13:14.

Half Moon Bay had two runners break the 14-minute barrier in the Varsity B race, with Chris Jacobson second in 13:20 and Giovanni Morales third in 13:54.

Five runners finished in the top 10 in the frosh-soph race, giving the Cougars the team title easily. They finished with 24 points, 62 better than runner-up Dougherty Valley. Jackson Wooliever paced the five with a third-place showing in 13:33.

It was just as impressive on the girls side. Senior Chandra Anderson turned in the fastest Cougar time of the team, placing seventh in the varsity race in 15:12. Five other runners broke the 17-minute barrier.

Kylie Freeburg was among that group, winning the Large School Varsity B race in 16:00. She had to race in the afternoon as she, along with teammate Paige Williamson, missed the morning races to take the SAT exams.

Marshall sees improvement every day in practice. He says the key for the improvement is the freshmen. It could lead to an interesting decision.

“We have about 10 guys (competing) for seven spots,” Marshall said “Each time, it is somebody new that is brought into the mix.”

Thanks to the depth, practices are intense. The Cougars have two meets scheduled for this week.

They were scheduled to participate in the second Peninsula Athletic League meet, Tuesday. Results were not available at press time. Half Moon Bay runs in the Center Meet, Thursday.

It’s the same story on the girls side, where several freshmen may be running in the postseason. Half Moon Bay’s frosh-soph team was second, with Helen Fisher’s fourth-place finish leading the pack.

“We all practice together,” Fisher said. “There are a lot of girls that can be on varsity. I am kind of excited.”

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