SPC CHAMPS- Girls' & Boys' Cross Country

Sam Chambers
Congratulations to St. John’s Girls’ and Boys’ Cross Country for winning the 2015 SPC team championships held at St. Andrew’s School of Austin.  The last time St. John’s won both titles in the same season was in 2000.  They also won dual crowns in 1977, 1994, 1997, and 1998.  
Back in 2012 the Mavericks were pointing towards dual cross country ownership.  When the girls won in 2012 and 2013 the boys were runner-up. In 2014 when the boys won, the girls were runner up. For 2015 there was little doubt that the podium would have both Maverick teams holding the first place hardware, especially with the way the girls finished with a record score of 20 points.
 “I could tell at the midway point they were dialed in,” said Headmaster and former cross-country coach, Mark Desjardins.  “It’s unheard of for a team to finish with all of their top five runners in second through sixth place.”
While the overall individual champion (Adoette Vaughn- 19:00.4) was from Hockaday, the next five finishers were all Mavericks:  2nd Lillian Chen ’16 (19:09.4), 3rd Peyton Brown ’17 (19:13.7), 4th Margaret Trautner ’16 (19:49.7), 5th Julia Moody ’16 (19:53.7), and 6th Olivia Havel ’16 (20:03.4).   Maya Bhandari ’16 finished 12th overall (20:39.2), and along with the top five St. John’s runners, finished with all-conference honors. 

“I’m really excited because we worked hard and we got it,” said Moody . “We knew we had to run together and not let anyone between us.”
That is exactly how it played out for the St. John’s Girls.  After Hockaday’s top runner crossed the line first, within a span of less than one minute, the next five finishers were all Mavericks, or the ‘Mav Five.’
“We stuck together and ran our best,” said Chen.
“It was our goal to stay in a pack and be together,” said Brown.
“Our times were not the fastest but this was as hardest we have run,” said Trautner.  “We doubled the link of our spikes.”
“We had a burning desire to win after finishing second to Kinkaid last year,” said Havel.
“It’s too bad you cannot see smiles through a microphone,” said Maverick Girls’ Head Coach Rachel Fabre.  “I knew at the mile one marker we were in a good place, confident, and in awesome shape.  Last year we lost by three points and that really stung.”
In 2014 the Boys’ won their championship by only two points.  This year would be different as the Mavericks posted five runners in the top twenty including the overall winner in Joe Faraguna ’16.
“It was wet and sloppy out there and the times were not that good, but the guys ran great,” said Head Coach Richie Mercado ’79.  “Joe ran away with it at the end.” 
The Mavericks finished with 53 points, 16 better than runner-up St. Stephen’s School.  The Mavericks top five received all-conference honors. 1st Joe Faraguna (16:32.9), 9th Drew Woodfolk ’18 (17:08.7),  11th Sam Faraguna ’19 (17:09.7), 13th Jake Schick ’17 (17:14.7), and 19th Jayan Hanson ’17 (17:20.8).
“We just came out and executed it like any other race,” said Woodfolk.  “We loved the rain and cool temperature. We approached this race the same way...Just going at it like it’s your last time.”
Faraguna’s would fail to run his best time in his last cross country race for the Mavericks, but he would succeed in winning it for the first time.  He finished sixth his freshman year, 3rd his sophomore year, 6th last year and finally first.  Midway through the 5k run Joe was in a pack of runners from John Cooper and St. Mark’s.  In the last loop Faraguna separated himself from the pack.
“We could not have asked for anything better with the weather in terms of running,” said Joe Faraguna.  “There was great competition out there.”

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Sam Chambers - Athletic News