MHS runners Phil Oxford, Alejandra Lemus, Roxanna Garcia, and Hailey Hugelman. (Photo: Coach Rob Friedl)
By Coach Scott Luke
The Mammoth High School Cross Country team is heading to the Desert Mountain League Finals in Yermo next Thursday, Nov. 4 and will be looking to bring home some hardware. Needing to finish 7th or better overall to qualify for CIF Individual Finals the Huskies are poised to place three runners in these cherished spots.
The most consistent Husky runners this season have been freshmen Phil Oxford and Hailey Hugelman, while Jack Rotten and Fernando Ramirez have shown good improvement. Oxford has shown improved results each week and finished just out of the medals at the Desert Mountain League Invitational.
“We are really proud of the consistency that Phil and Jack have shown in training this fall and look forward to them anchoring our team for the next three seasons” said MHS Head Coach Scott Luke.
Hugelman has had a banner initial campaign, medaling at Whittell Invitational (frosh/soph all schools), North Tahoe Invitational (frosh/soph all schools), Bell-Jeff Griffith Park Invitational (frosh/soph large schools) and Sparks Invitational (20th Varsity Girls Large Schools). Hugelman also won the Desert Mountain League Invitational for JV Girls and finished 5th overall among all girls. Just last week she put together her best race of the year winning the Bishop Varsity Girls Dual Meet by more than 30 seconds. “Hailey has made huge strides since the beginning of summer workouts, she shows up each and every day and is an inspiration for the rest of the runners in our program” commented Rob Friedl, MHS Cross Country Coach.
Sophomore girls Alejandra Lemus and Roxanna Garcia have seriously dedicated themselves to the team and have trained hard through the summer and the season. Both girls are often seen running to practice, often refusing rides from their teammates. “They are at a point, where their finishes could strongly help the girls team in future races” stated Coach Friedl.
“Seeing their personal sacrifice and progress gives every one of us a sense of pride and we are glad to have them here,” added Coach Luke.
The Huskies top runner, Toby Qualls, has been injured and has not raced for four weeks. He continues his training and rehab under the watchful eye of personal coach Andrew Kastor, Coach Luke and Coach Friedl. Qualls’ training program was altered to focus on low impact and healing over the last few weeks while maintaining his cardiovascular fitness base. His focus is on returning for next week’s League Finals and the CIF Prelims the following week.
“His dedication, academics, leadership, training habits, communication skills with teammates and sense of humility are all attributes that make Toby the true leader of our program even as a sophomore” stated Coach Luke. Qualls has dominated most invitationals this year with a Championship at Griffith Park, second at Whittel, fourth at North Tahoe and a victory at Bishop dual meet before being injured.
The 2010 version of the MHS Cross Country Team dreams live on in the individual portion of the Desert Mountain League Finals. Next Thursday if all goes well, Hugelman will qualify for CIF Prelims, Kristen King will finish Top 3 and qualify as well, and Qualls will return to form and capture the Desert Mountain League Title, stay tuned.