For the first time in all the years of running at the Stanford Invitational Cross-Country meet, Half Moon Bay High School ran in the seeded race instead of the Division IV race.
As a result, the Cougars faced some of the top runners in the state and nation.
From a results point of view, it wasn’t a pretty picture as the boys team placed 30th with 757 points. Meanwhile, the girls were 26th with 718 points.
The Half Moon Bay boys’ team finished second among Central Coast Section Division IV teams and third among Peninsula Athletic League teams. Meanwhile, the girls’ team was third among PAL teams and fifth among CCS teams. The separation from second to fifth place was less than a minute.
Logan Marshall (88th in 16 minutes, 44 seconds) was the only boy to finish in the upper half of the 224-man field.
Chandra Anderson was Half Moon Bay’s top girl finisher in the 186-woman field, taking 116th in 20:41.
Being in the seeded race created some apprehension, at first.
“I was fine with it at the end,” John Sorfleet said. “It was pretty much like all the other races, just with more people.”
Jasmine Shaff added that if Half Moon Bay ran in Division IV, she and her teammates would get an idea on how they stack up with the other teams.
“I think it was good to have new people to run against and new experiences,” Shaff said.
Coach Paul Farnsworth said he attempted to sign up for the Division IV race several weeks ago and the fields were filled. All that was left was the seeded race.
It was Half Moon Bay’s first meet of any sort in two weeks. Half Moon Bay used the time to get plenty of hard training in before a hard week.
Starting with Saturday’s Artichoke Invitational, Half Moon Bay has three races in a six-day span. The Cougars participate in the second Peninsula Athletic League meet on Oct. 11 then go to Crystal Springs for the second center meet of the year.
That race will give some of the younger runners a taste of that course, which will host the league championships later this month.