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Ankhelyi, Eagles win at Stanford Invitational

By: Matt Long Telegraph Sports Editor
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It’s only October, but Vista del Lago’s varsity girls’ cross country team, led by senior Madeleine Ankhelyi, made a statement on Saturday. The girls won the Division III race at the prestigious Stanford Invitational, and did so comfortably, even without their number-four runner. On top of that, Ankhelyi won the race equally as comfortably, finishing 36 seconds in front of teammate Clare Carroll, in 17 minutes, 39 seconds, as she improved on her third-place finish of a year ago. Carroll completed the 5,000-meter race in 18:15. “I don’t know if we’ve ever won a bigger invite,” Vista del Lago coach Robert Grove said. “I think this gives the girls confidence for the rest of the season, but we’ve still got a lot of work to do. I’m really happy for Madeleine too. She ran a great race and this was big for her, although I’m sure she’ll tell you that she was just as happy for the team to win as she was for her to win.” Ankhelyi was pleased to have won the race and was happy with the team’s performance. “My goal was to win it and I was excited that I did, but I wish my time would have been faster,” Ankhelyi said. “This win definitely helps my confidence and the confidence of our team. I’m excited to see what I can do and what the team can do going forward. This shows people what we can do and that Vista’s for real.” Sierra Jaeger had a strong 15th-place finish in 19:30 to round out Vista’s top-three runners. “When you go 1, 2, 15, it’s pretty difficult to get beat,” Grove said. With the team’s No. 4 runner, Jennifer Morgan, out of the race with an injury, Michaela Reynolds and Megan Howell needed to step up and have a good race and they did. Reynolds placed 50th in 20:46, while Howell ran 58th in 20:57. “Without Jennifer, I really didn’t set high expectations for this meet,” Grove said. “But Michaela’s been solid all year and did a good job moving up through the race and Meg ran a fantastic race. All the girls stepped up.” Alayna Gocke (21:15) and Weirui Xiao (21:19) also ran for the Eagles. Zach Jaeger led the Vista boys to a 20th-place finish as a team, as he placed 16th overall in 16:30. Kyle Chun placed 48th in 17:11 followed by Andrew Schiek (133rd, 18:20), Nathan Lemay (135th, 18:20) and Aaron Schiek (179th, 19:07) to round out the scorers. Jeff Reinking (180th, 19:08) and Christian Guevara (195th, 19:40) also ran for the squad. “I thought the boys ran well,” Grove said. “We were missing our number-four runner, Sam Ruby, and Nathan stepped up. Zach’s been sick and he ran well and Kyle’s only a sophomore and he had a respectable finish. It’s the first time we’ve brought a full team to Stanford and they did well.”