Mount Shasta girls set sights on state championships

Staff Writer
Mount Shasta Herald
Sophomore Callie Toews, right, was Mount Shasta's top finisher at the Northern Section Championships Nov. 12, 2009 at West Valley High School in Cottonwood.

Even in a rebuilding year the Mount Shasta High School girls cross country team placed third among schools of all sizes at the section championships and qualified for a seventh consecutive trip to the California State Championships, scheduled for this Saturday, Nov. 28, at Woodward Park in Fresno.

At the section race in Cottonwood two weeks ago, the Bears were third behind Chico and University Prep of Redding, the team they wanted to beat in order to extend their string of Division V titles.

Mount Shasta’s young team in that race included freshmen Ellen Sampson, Janelle Jaegel and Margot Mattson, sophomores Callie Toews, Danielle Tognolini and Sarah Rogers, junior Lisa Shinohara and seniors Kristin Bree and Kendra Woodglass.

Their order of finish was Toews, Shinohara, Sampson, Jaegel, Bree (running hurt), Togonolini, Mattson, Woodglass and Rogers.

As of early this week coach Steve Nesheim said he wasn’t sure where the Bears were ranked among other Division V teams in the state, but he was glad this year’s team wasn’t going in highly ranked.

“This new group needs to establish their own identity and build for their own future,”?Nesheim said.

The goal at state, according to Nesheim, stays the same every year: “to duplicate or better their Northern Section Meet 3.0 mile times on the State Meet 3.1 mile course. The state course is flatter and has very gradual turns that allow runners to maintain a pretty good tempo. Add the easier course to travel, pressure and prestige of the event and running the same time (= better pace) is a great accomplishment.

“I just want the girls to come away with an inner desire to get better for a return trip to State in 2010. We might have five rookies in the race. They have a lot of learning to do.”

Mount Shasta’s Ellen Sampson, left, and Lisa Shinohara run side by side early in the Northern Section Championship race Nov. 12 at West Valley High School in Cottonwood. Shinohara, a junior, was the Bears’ second fastest runner in the race and Sampson, a freshman, was third.