Jesuit cross country places second at Cherry Island

Plank Article Milo Moggan ’26

Jesuit High School Sacramento’s varsity cross country team placed second at the first league meet of the year at Cherry Island Sports Center on Sept. 27, losing to Davis 32-28. 

Jesuit’s top runners all finished their 3 mile runs with times below the 16 minute mark. Isaac Abbott ’26 placed in third with a time of 15:08.5. He was followed by Declan Higgins ’24 and Navin Kadel ’25, finishing in fourth and fifth place with times of 15:12.8 and 15:17.4, respectively. Drake Hoferer ’26 finished with 15:21.0, earning him seventh place. Trevor Felix ’25 placed thirteenth with a time of 15:37.5 and Brady Blum ’25 finished in fourteenth with a time of 15:38.0. Jonah Reynolds ’24 rounded out Jesuit’s top seven, finishing at 15:53.8 to earn sixteenth place.

Overall, the race ran smoothly besides an unfortunate run-in with bees.

“The only bad thing about the race was the bees,” Coach Witzgall said. “About half of our team was stung before or during the race. Fortunately no one had a severe allergic reaction and everyone was able to finish their race.”

While the coaches and runners are always aiming to win, Jesuit’s team is not frustrated with this second place finish because all Jesuit’s team had to do was stay in contention for the league championship.

“We had to finish in the top two teams,” said Assistant Coach David Zielke. “We would have liked to have won, the kids definitely would have liked to have beaten Davis because we’ve lost to them now three times. [But] we’re still in the running – if we beat them at the league championship meet in October, we will become the league champion. So it was important that we finish second and we did that.”

Isaac sees this loss as the motivator that Jesuit needed to push for the league championship. 

“The goal was to win and beat Davis, so I would say on paper, yes, it failed,” Isaac said. “But at the same time, it also gave us the opportunity to want to win; It gives us that hunger. Hopefully next time we get them at league champs, which is the one that matters.”

Although the Cherry Island meet always provides runners an opportunity to achieve new personal records, Coach Witzgall hopes that the team stays focused on racing well.

“A flat and fast course like Cherry Island was a good opportunity for our guys to run fast times,” Coach Witzgall said. “[But] in cross country, the place you finish in is more important than the time you run. In races, we encourage athletes to compete against other runners more than running against the clock. Although you can’t always compare times from week to week, you can look at who was just ahead of you and try to catch them the next time you race.”