Fresh off a runner-up finish at the 2016 Northern California Championship, the Las Positas College men’s cross country team is looking to reach a new level this season in their quest for a team championship. The Hawks have improved each of the last three years and believe this could be the year they have the talent and experience to earn LPC a NorCal title.
The Hawks have a unique mixture of new talent and veteran experience, with their top three freshmen off last year’s team returning. At the 2016 NorCal Championship, David Frisbie finished third, Zach Connolly was sixth, and Jordan Kirby came in seventh. These finishes were the best of any freshmen in the championship. All will return for their sophomore seasons and are better than ever after an intense offseason of preparation.
Las Positas has added four runners to the team for the 2017 campaign. Incoming freshman Michael Ochoa from Madera South High School may be the most polished of the group, coming in with a personal best of 14:49 for the 3 mile distance - a remarkable 4:56/mile pace. The Hawks have also added Sebastian Anderson (Berkeley HS) and local product Omar Maklaf (Livermore HS). Anderson’s personal best 3 mile time (15:37) placed him second at the 2016 Western Alameda County Conference Championship. His new teammate, Maklaf, has demonstrated great speed as well with a personal best 4:19 mile time to go with a 15:37 mark in the 3 mile run, earning him a ninth place finish at the 2016 NCS Championships en route to qualifying for the California State High School Championship. The Hawks will also feature former track and field star, Connor McKinnon, who comes to the program as a sophomore after one year off. With his natural distance being 800 meters, McKinnon will have quite a shift in his conditioning this fall as he will be training in 4 mile increments, eight times the distance at which he’s grown accustomed. In 2015, McKinnon placed third in the California High School State Meet, turning in a time of 1:51.64, part of a phenomenal season that saw him named EBAL MVP and NCS Champion over the half mile distance. At the college level, Mckinnon placed third at the 2016 Community College State Meet in the 800 meters.
Las Positas Head Coach Kyle Robinson is excited at the prospect of his program fighting for a championship with this year’s group: “This group has a lot of experience competing at a high level. All seven of these athletes have previously competed at either a Cross Country or Track State meet at their respective high schools. Frisbie, Kirby, and McKinnon have medaled at a state championship. Our team has been on the Northern California podium for the past two years, placing third in 2015 and second in 2016. With some new additions and the return of our top three athletes from last year, the team is aiming to compete with last year’s champion, Hartnell, along with traditional powerhouse American River for the Northern California team title this November.”