Riordan cross country runs its way to top 5


Cole Anderson ’22

Cross Country runners prepare for the WCAL Championships at Crystal Springs.

Christian Ramirez Cortes ’22, Staff Reporter

EJ Odocayen ’20 and Aidan Murtagh ’20 both continued to lead the Cross Country program at Archbishop Riordan High School to a successful second half of the season and the final season for themselves and all theseniors, which ended on Nov. 16 with their final race being at the CCS championships.

At the Crystal Springs Invitational on Oct. 12, junior varsity ran very well on the tough course, which includes many hills. The varsity team placed 9th out of 25 teams, defeating various other schools such as Saint Ignatius,Serra, Sacred Heart, and Valley Christian. Odocayen placed 18th out of 170 runners and broke the school record at this course. Murtagh, Liam Funke ’21, and Collin Murtagh ’22 who also had a successful race, finished in the top 100.

On Oct. 18, the Rough Rider Invitational showed the varsity runners that there is always room for improvement. Odocayen placed in the top 10, but wasn’t satisfied with the pace he was running at. Riordan placed 6th because Funke was not running that day due to back problems. Although it wasn’t the best race they had ever run, it was still beneficial because they got to see the state course.

Odocayen explained, “The reason we did this invitational was to see the state course. It was like a preview for us.

At the Polo Fields in Golden Gate Park, the JV Riordan runners had a very challenging race but most managed to achieve a new personal best regardless of the heat and dust. This second WCAL meet on Oct. 23 was a wake-up call for the varsity runners as it helped them to think of their health and how well they can execute races without much rest. As a team, Riordan placed 5th and Odocayen individually placed 6th, defeating Saint Ignatius, without Funke who was out again.

Daniel Galvan ’22 stated, “Riordan, overall, worked hard and improved as a team. We were all able to get comfortable running and keeping pace.”

The WCAL Championships on Nov. 6 showed great improvement at every level compared to the first race this season at the Lowell Invitational. Varsity not only competed and worked hard, but also viewed this race as a preview for CCS. The last race for JV did not disappoint as they pushed past their limits, noticing improvements in their stamina and pace.

Max Lara ’22 said, “I noticed this entire season’s progress and work paying off in the WCAL Championships compared to the slow start at the Lowell Invitational as my legs warmed up.”

Unfortunately, the varsity runners had to cut their season short at CCS Championships on Nov. 18. It was a very close race with Odocayen finishing in 7th place, Funke in 11th, Murtagh ’22 in 13th, Murtagh ’20 in 18th, Conor McMahon ’20 in 50th, Logan Estrada ’22 in 63rd, and David Nori ’21 in 68th. This was still not enough for the varsity runners to secure a spot at the state meet as they were shy one place. The team finished in 3rd, behind Saint Ignatius and Sacred Heart Cathedral.

Murtagh ’20 said, “We had a great season leading up to CCS and were really excited to see what we could do, but unfortunately we did not perform to the best of our ability on that day.”

The Riordan Cross Country program is hoping to make a big comeback next year with the current sophomores and juniors who are ready to get their revenge and win it all. The freshmen also hold a lot of potential and are the future of Cross Country at Riordan. Mason Mckee ’23 and Luke Grogan ’23 trained very well this season and ran very promising times.