Hailey Hugelman with Kristin King right behind her both raced their way to CIF prelims along with Toby Qualls. (Photo courtesy Qualls)
By Don Qualls
On Nov. 4, Mammoth High School Cross Country Team, traveled to Silver Valley High School in Yermo, Calif. to compete in the Desert Mountain League Finals. Only the top teams and six top male and female runners would advance into the C.I.F. rounds. There are no freshman or junior varsity divisions from here on out.
Mammoth took nine runners to Silver Valley, and three of them beat out the competition to move on. Freshman Hailey Hugelman, sophomore Toby Qualls, and senior Kristen King, are all invited to the C.I.F prelims on Nov. 13 in Walnut, Calif. Approximately 2,500 top runners will battle it out and try to advance to the C.I.F. finals, to be held on Nov. 20, also in Walnut.
“These two races are unlike anything our first time qualifiers have ever seen,” head coach Scott Luke commented. Thousands of spectators watch on huge live broadcast screens, as race after race of approximately 125 runners, take off every 10 minutes, all day long. Every runner is a top finisher from a different League and only the very top runners will make it to the C.I.F. final round. This round will determine who will represent Southern California’s Five divisions of schools, in Fresno for the State Champions. The Fresno State Championship race will be held on Nov. 27.
The entire team and coaching staff are very proud of every runner who ran on Nov. 4. “Every member has a role on our team and we were thrilled to have them here,” coach Rob Friedl stated. “Everybody pushed everyone else and it was a team effort that moved the final three runners to the next round.”