Branson Cross Country Runners Conclude a Strong Season at NCS

Over the Thanksgiving Break, Branson Sophomore Sage Sanderson placed 52nd out of more than 200 runners at the CIF State Division 5 Cross Country meet with a 5k time of 20:03. The week before, she posted the school’s 14th best girls 3-mile time in its history to qualify for the State meet, placing 10th at the North Coast Sectional Championship at Hayward High School with a time of 19:03.

The Bulls concluded an excellent 2019 team campaign at that meet, where the boys were twelfth of twenty-four teams, the girls eighth of fifteen.

On the guys side, senior Benji Wu finished 38th of 198 runners, besting his previous (2017) time on the course by over a minute. His 17:00 places him number ten on Branson’s all-time boys Hayward list. 

Sophomore Henry Houser (43rd), freshman Max Gutierrez (84th) and sophomore Leighton McCamy-Miller (97th) all ran very strong races for the Bulls, and give the Bulls a strong returning core next year. Senior Brendon Milan-Howells (98th) saved his best for last, running the fastest 3-mile time of his career. Juniors Sam Yolles (134th) and Strat Tolmie (149th) ran impressive personal best times to round out the NCS squad.

On the Girls side, junior Carly Yoon (41st) ran number two for the first time for Branson, capping an impressive first XC season. Eliza Hawley (46th) crossed less than twenty seconds later, her second sub-seven race in as many weeks. Caitlin Evers (52nd) ran four, followed by fifth and final scorer Sydney Hwang (60th), who really did peak when it counts, running her fastest race of the year. Freshman Alexa Polsky (63rd), crossed just eight seconds later, and likewise saved  her fastest races in the postseason. Four-year senior JoJo Huff (97th) ran seven for the Bulls, concluding a great four years and exceptional senior campaign.