The Berkeley High cross-country team has been chasing league leader Alameda for the last several years, and Wednesday’s ACCAL meet at Tilden Park was no exception, as the ’Jackets finished second to a huge crowd of Alameda runners.
In the boys’ race, Alameda took the top two spots and five of the top seven in a convincing victory. Nick Ball won the 2.8 mile race in 17:38, with teammate Marty Skeels just holding off Berkeley’s Alex Enscoe for second place, with his time of 17:43 just one second faster than Enscoe’s. After the top three there was a big gap, with Berkeley’s Nic Riley the next best at 18:51. Yellowjackets David Petty and Jonathon Finney also cracked the top 10.
The result was even more lopsided on the girls’ side, as Berkeley’s Elizabeth Mendelson was the only non-Hornet runner in the race. She finished a respectable third in 23:45, but was beaten soundly by Sarah Orzell and Corinee Roberts, with Orzell finishing in 21:12 and Roberts in 21:39.
Berkeley’s best female runner, sophomore Grace Nielsen, was held out of the race with an Achilles’ tendon injury, but should be available for the league championship meet next Wednesday. She was just one of several Berkeley runners who didn’t run in the final meet before the league championship.
“We’ve got some people with nagging injuries, and it just wasn’t worth it to push them to run with the league championship coming up,” Berkeley coach Dave Goodrich said.
The Berkeley boys’ junior varsity won their second ACCAL meet this season before the varsity races on Wednesday.