Dana Hills Invitational Recap


Alil Washington, Staff Writer

After an incredible amount of school records being shattered at the previous Woodbridge Invitational meet by the Santiago XC team. Fortunately, more blessings are headed towards the team as they broke more PR’s, 1st place team overall trophies, and physically got 1st place in the race representing their team. So let’s not waste any more time and talk regiment facts about what went down at the Dana Hills Invitational XC race over the weekend. 

With the Dana Hills Invitational underway, the first race opening was the { Senior Boys Invitational D1}, which included all the senior guys from the team. The two most performing runners within the Santiago senior pack were Van Filek (12) and Shabach Karathi (12). What allowed these 2 gentlemen to be depicted from the others was Van Filek (12) coming in with a hot shot time of 14:51.2 gaining him 8th overall out of 237 people in that race while making that a new personal record for him. Also, Shabach Karathi (12) ran a personal record of 16:18.9. What makes this performance so exceptional is the fact that it’s his first time running on this repetitive parkour course, and he’s already feeling like he could’ve given more effort than he had originally placed into the course.

 The reason he mentioned this to himself was that he believed “ My start could have been better at the beginning of the race.” Giving himself the feeling that he needs to come back harder next time. Meanwhile, at the post-race, I had the time to interview both of these guys about what it means for them just to be running and breaking personal records on a course like this. Van Filek (12) gave his personal input about his post-race: “It is really nice to see all the hard work being put into this is paying off and it’s really rewarding. And I love Dana Hills and it’s a good atmosphere. Shabach Karathi (12) also came along with what he thought about racing on this course: “ I was pretty happy to get the opportunity to go on this course, but in the beginning, like when the gun went off that start was horrendous. So many people around you… It’s just bad. But I’m content with my personal record and I will continue to improve.” Having more effort in your system and getting just a gut feeling you can run faster just sets a higher toll on you about your performance. It really says a lot about these 2 guys and what they have envisioned for themselves throughout this season.

The next race that came by had some pressure on it, { Sophomore Boys Invitational D1}, which consisted of sophomores, as the name says. Big shout out to Jett Blake(10) and Jace Lay (10) these 2 guys left it all on the course once they finished racing.

For this highly sophisticated sophomore, Jett Blake(10), coming off his injury in just his second race of the season was able to put up a time of 16:46.2. Also counting his placement for 17th place out of 202. Meanwhile Jacey Lay(10) came in with the heat leading the pack for the 10th-grade Santiago boys. His final time was 15:53.8 ranking him 3rd out of 202 runners. Jett Blake (10) was able to give us an insight into how he felt after the race: “ Well I think me coming off an injury. It has definitely really been hard for me, especially since I’ve had only a week. Having to race Woodbridge and then coming off that felt pretty good at 16:28 as a PR. Coming into this race I was expected to break 16 but didn’t quite meet those expectations. So I feel like next time I can do better and break 16.” Then moving on to Jace Lay(10) he also gave his personal thoughts about this race: “ It’s super cool. I took the race out first pace like it was 400 meters. My stomach felt a lil iffy and had to let off. Got back to 5th or 6th place. The second mile comes around feeling good… Kinda picked up the pace. Get back to my teammates. You know went 3,4, and 5 felt good. Definitely felt longer than Woodbridge.” Jett (10) and Jace (10) will both exceed all the expectations they set for themselves with the season continuously moving along.

At the end of all the races for Santiago High School, the head coach, Ricardo Ethridge, gave me a whole team recap of all the sightful moments that happened: “ It was pretty good uh, I can tell that we’re a lil’ fatigue still from last week but overall everyone gave their best effort. We had a lot of medals today, some personal records. The freshman girls won 1st place, the sophomore boys won 1st place, and sophomore girls finished 2nd place, so it was pretty good overall… Van Filek (12) ran a new personal record 14:51, one of the fastest times in school history. Also, Taylor Davis taking 1st place overall for representing the freshman girls. So it was a good day overall.” With all these great accomplishments this will definitely leave a smile on this his face for today.

All these races have been in preparation for the big IIIV league meet, which has led all runners to ready themselves in order to become one of the fastest teams in the league, if not the fastest!