Cougars take on the Asics Clovis Invitational

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The Clovis High girls varsity team following the Asics Clovis Invitational.

The Clovis High girls varsity team following the Asics Clovis Invitational.

The Clovis High girls varsity team following the Asics Clovis Invitational.

Natalie Jones, Reporter

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The Clovis High boys and girls cross-country will be traveling to Salinas to race in the Monterey Bay Invitational at Toro Park on Saturday October 14. The team hopes to continue to improve after it raced at the prestigious Asics Clovis Invitational at Woodward Park on Saturday Oct. 7.

The Asics Clovis Invitational, hosted by Clovis High, is one of the state’s largest cross country competitions boasting over 4,200 athletes and 225 schools who get an early opportunity to run the CIF State Championship course at Woodward Park.

The boys team took fifthteenth place and the girls team took sixth place both in the varsity XL divisions.

Senior Christopher Watkins and junior Olivia Herrera were the top finishers for the Cougars. Watkins placed 12th with a time of 16:01 and Herrera won her race with a time of 18:30.

“Overall I feel like I did really well for how my season has been going. There is always the thought that I could do better, and after the race I wasn’t super thrilled. I had to put my race into perspective; I still improved from my previous times.” Watkins stated.

Herrera shared the same sentiment that improvement was the most important takeaway from the race.

“I am happy with my time,” Herrera said. “ I can improve by becoming mentally stronger in the last mile.”

The Asics Clovis Invitational serves a mid-season check point for most teams in California, and show where improvement is needed. Both Clovis High teams have been putting in the work to make it to the state championships in November, as only the top three teams in the Central Section will qualify.

“Going into the race we had idea of how we wanted to do, and coming out of it–place wise– we were really far behind some of the other schools that we know we can beat,” Watkins said in regard to how he felt like the team did as a whole. “ Its driving us now to do better and we are fired up to get back into it.”

“ [The team] did good but not great. I think the kids would agree with that assessment,” said head coach Sean McManus. “It was our first meet at Woodward Park this year. We need to work on running hills. That is the toughest part: running hills fast.”

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