For the seventh time in eight years, the girls cross country varsity team made a trip to CIF State Division 1 Championships this season, placing seventh in their division and improving from an eighth place finish last year.
The Tritons were led by senior Melissa Eisele, who earned an 11th place individual finish after clocking in with a time of 17:51. The top four runners for the Tritons were Juniors Grace Georgi (34th), Kelsey Carroll (35th) and Katie Carroll (82nd). Senior Sydney Szabo finished 85th, freshman Isabella Alston finished 92nd and sophomore Amber Eisele finished 137th.
“I was really impressed with all of the girls,” said Coach Proodian, the girls’ cross country head coach. “They did very well and ran their fastest times yet.” He also went on to say that “the best they could have placed at the race was fifth” and he was “very happy with the results.”
Coach Proodian is looking forward to next year, but is sad to lose senior speedsters Sydney Szabo and Melissa Eisele. Hands down the fastest girl on the team, Eisele has been running on the team for four years. She has also been named team MVP for four years while running for Varsity. Eisele is a four-year All-League and three-year All-County runner, meaning she has competed in League Finals for four years in a row, and in County Finals for three years in a row. Eisele is the fourth fastest in the county and, according to coach Proodian, “one of the top five best female runners San Clemente has ever had.”
Despite the loss of the Eisele and Szabo, Proodian is excited to see the new freshmen and how they will contribute to the team. Coach Proodian also hopes to see the team improve, as all girls slowly progress as they get older and gain more knowledge of the sport.
Some runners who will contribute to the scoring on the team next year are sister duo Kelsey and Katie Carroll and Gracie Georgi, whom Proodian says will be the three top seniors. Other contributors will be numerous returning sophomores and juniors, especially due to the fact that they have more experience both physically and mentally. “There are [also] those few girls, whom nobody would have thought would be [superb] runners, who have extraordinary potential,” Proodian said.