Greenhill’s Cross Country Team Prepares for the SPC Championship

Aman Jaleel and Jailynn Robinson

Greenhill’s cross-country team is off and running in the fall season, with three meets completed in a busy schedule that will culminate with the Southwest Preparatory Conference meet in November.

The varsity boys team was the top finisher in the Luke’s Locker Invitational on Aug. 28. The annual event hosted by Greenhill was canceled last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This year’s event, the 36th annual, took place at Norbuck Park near White Rock Lake.

“The event is one of the more fun races because Greenhill hosts the race so it’s nice to have people supporting you,” said senior Jonah Yaffe.

Runners described the course as one of the more exciting ones to run on. “It was a unique experience. The hay bale hurdles are something you don’t see often, and there’s a big hill toward the end of the race,” said freshman Chris Williams.

In winning the varsity 4A Boys Division, the Greenhill boys were led by seniors Yaffe and Travis Mann, sophomore Andrew Mann and freshman Chris Williams. Their final time for the 6-mile relay was 33:22, one second faster than the runner-up, Sanger High School.

The girls varsity finished third out of 24 teams with a time of 41:05. Their team consisted of seniors Ella Dzialowski, Kendall Hashimoto and Mia Ness and junior Charlotte Purcell.

The top five teams in each division got a trophy. Greenhill received three trophies: junior varsity boys placed fifth in their division; varsity girls placed third and varsity boys placed first.

“We’re not always running for the trophies, but it’s nice to get them,” Head Coach Jason Yaffe said.

The boys varsity performance at the event earned the team Greenhill’s Athlete of the Week award.

The cross-country team also participated in the Coach T Invitational at North Lakes Park on Sept. 4. The invitation is in honor of Coach Steve Telaneus who died recently.

“It was a festive meet in honor of Coach T,” said Hashimoto. “There was loud music, and snow cones were handed out after the meet, which is unusual for a cross country race.”

Out of the 12 competing schools, the girls varsity team placed 6th overall. Out of 15 competing teams, the boys’ varsity team placed 7th, and the boy’s junior varsity team placed 8th out of 16 competing teams.

“I think the team as a whole did really well,” said Hashimoto. “It was our first 5k race of the season.”

Members of the girls team received three medals for finishing in the top 25:Hashimoto placed 17th; followed by Ness, 19th, and Dzialowski, 25th. Jonah Yaffe, who placed 23rd, received the lone medal for the boys.

Greenhill competed in the TX Milesplit Invitational at Southlake Park on Saturday, Sept.11. It was a 5k race.

The boys varsity team placed eighth sout of 31 teams with 243 points. They were lead by Yaffe, Andrew Mann, Williams and sophomore Arjun Melwani.

Girls varsity was led by Hashimoto, Ness, Dzialowski and freshman Asha Blewett. They placed fifth out of 29 schools with a score of 159 points.

The regular-season meets will culminate with SPC Championship meet on November 6 at Norbuck Park. All teams from the SPC come together for the final race and the top-20 finishers from each gender will receive medals. Each of the team’s top-5 runners’ times is recorded, the times are added up, and whichever team has the lowest time wins the SPC championship.

“Finishing top 5 in SPC is one of our goals for the season,” Jonah Yaffe said. “In 2019 we got 10th, and we want to improve.”

Hashimoto has different expectations.

“We want to place as high as we can,” Hashimoto said. “For me, this might be my last race. My main goal is to leave it all out there and push to the end.”