Running For State

Men’s and Women’s Cross Country look to reach State after falling just short last year


Ethan Day ‘24, Logan Grant ‘25, and Daniel Matthew ‘25 running in the league meet at Pierce College.

Mens and Women’s Cross Country are putting in the work every day to reach State. The Men’s and Women’s varsity team came up just short of State last year, missing qualification by 1 position. The teams are in hopes of climbing that one position this year.

The first meet of the season was the South Bay Twilight. Only the Men’s varsity team raced in this meet finishing in 6th place. This may not be the position they would have liked, but some positives came out of it. These 4 runners achieved incredible times. Starting with Gavin Whetstone ‘23 who was ND’s first finisher, finishing in 16:43! Not far behind was Ethan Day ‘24 who got a personal record time of 16:53! Finally Logan Grant ‘25 finished with a time of 17:23 and Daniel Matthew ‘25 finished in 17:30 which is a whole two minutes and half faster than last year! Coach’s training must be really paying off. Ryan Vindiola ‘23 says, “the CV (critical velocity) workouts really help get my endurance up and get me adjusted to running anaerobic.”

The first meet of the season went fairly well. Although the team didn’t place how they wanted, four of our runners stepped it up and finished with wicked fast times.

The next meet of the season was Woodbridge Cross Country Classic, one of the biggest high school cross country meets in the nation. The Men’s team finished 16th out of 24 which is not bad considering the competition in this meet. Once again Gavin Whetstone ‘23 finished first for ND with a time of 16:36, a new pr! Noah Escobado ‘26 finished in a speedy 16:48, an incredible time for a freshman. Logan Grant ‘25 finished soon after with a new pr of 16:55!

This would be the Women’s first race of the season. They finished 13th out of 23 as a team. The leading runner was Greta Juelsson ‘23 who finished in 19:10! Coming through the finish line next was Audrey Benedict ‘25 who broke 20 for the first time with a time of 19:59.7! Soon after came Rocky Lample ‘24 who finished in 20:18.

Both the Men and Women teams ran amazing at one of the biggest meets in the nation. The Girls showed up the Boys team as they finished three places higher than them. For the Girls first meet of the season, they should be very proud of how they did.

Then the first League meet came around. This meet is key for a chance at State. ND Men got 5th place, not far behind 4th. Noah Escobedo ‘26 came through first for ND this time, finishing in 17:12. Soon after Gavin Whetstone ‘23, Ethan Day ‘24, and Daniel Matthew ‘25 came across the finish line.

The Women finished in 3rd place! Greta Juelsson ‘23 placed 2nd in the whole meet! Finishing with a time of 20:09. Audrey Benedict ‘25 was the next to finish in a time of 21:44.  Morgan Farnham finished next with a time of 22:11.

After the first league meet, both the Mens and Women’s team seem to be in good spots for State. The Men need to move up one more position in the upcoming league meets. The Women are looking good just where they are at. The Men’s biggest competition will be Chaminade. If they are able to shave off a couple points, they should be in good shape for going to State. The Women’s biggest competition will be Immaculate Heart. If they can stay ahead of Immaculate Heart they will be in good shape for State.

Their next race was the Swordsman 3 Mile Sprint. The Men placed 3rd in this meet! Noah Escobado ‘26 finished in 11th with a time of 16:08. Gavin Whetstone ‘23 finished just 2 seconds behind Noah, in a time of 16:10. Not far behind Gavin was Ethan Day ‘24 who finished in 16:16.

The Women finished 2nd!  Greta Juelsson ‘23 finished 6th with a time of 18:45. Audrey Benedict ‘25 was ND’s second finisher in a time of 19:42. Rocky Lample ‘24 finished just after in 19:52.

ND Men and Women placed very highly in this meet. Gavin, Ethan, and Noah PRed in this meet, so did Audrey and Rocky. Great races for ND. Gabi Edler‘23 describes the feeling of a pr as, “purely joyous and beats any other feeling in sports.”

ND Men and Women have 3 more league meets left. If they place highly enough in the league they will have to run at the CIF-SS Prelims before getting to State. They must put in the extra work because it will not be easy. Run it to State Knights!