Transfer of power

Clare Carroll will make Vista tough to beat
By: Matt Long
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After an outstanding freshman season, there’s not much Clare Carroll can do for an encore. As a ninth grader at Granite Bay High a year ago, Carroll won the Division I varsity girls’ cross country section championship and set a course record at the Willow Hills course in Folsom to boot with a time of 17 minutes and 55 seconds. Two weeks later Carroll placed second at the state championships at Woodward Park in Fresno with a time of 17:24, 27 seconds behind another freshman sensation, Sarah Baxter of Simi Valley. “I didn’t know what to expect coming into my freshman year,” Carroll said. “I had some success in seventh and eighth grade cross country and I just wanted to run my best. As the season went along I set bigger goals. It was great to have someone like Brooke Holt to run with as she made we work harder. We just fed off each other at practice.” Unfortunately, Carroll couldn’t duplicate her success in the spring track and field season, as injuries kept her on the shelf most of the spring. She’s fully recovered, though, and put in a lot of mileage over the summer, building her base for her sophomore cross country season. On top of running seven days a week, Carroll also runs in the pool and does a lot of biking, works on the elliptical and does other cross-training exercises. Carroll, 15, is attending Vista del Lago this year, the result of a family move from Granite Bay. While she’d love to repeat as section champion, she’d also like to win the state meet. Last year she helped Granite Bay win the Sac-Joaquin Section Division I title and she hopes she and her Vista teammates can repeat as Div. III champions this year and qualify for the state meet as a team. The Eagles, with five of their top-seven runners returning from last year’s team, including the top-three runners of Madeleine Ankhelyi, Jennifer Morgan and Alegra Mendez, along with Elizabeth Anderson and Dali Alarian, look to be the favorite in Div. III again this year, especially with the addition of Carroll. Senior Chelsea Shill is also on the squad and Mansoor expects freshman Sierra Jaeger to make an impact by season’s end as well. Though she’s only been there a short time, Carroll enjoys her new surroundings. “It was so hard to leave Granite Bay as I had so many friends, but my new team at Vista is awesome; the classes are good and the campus is nice,” Carroll said. “Madeleine is a lot like Brooke in that we can work together and push each other to get better. “I hope I can contribute to the team and help them win another Division III title and make it to the state meet as a team and do well.” Vista’s coach, Alex Mansoor, is thrilled to have a runner as good as Carroll on the team. “She’s extremely talented, there’s no question about it,” Mansoor said. “Her goal is to run 16:59 and win a state championship and she’s got the talent to do it. Team-wise, when you put her with out other six girls we’ve got a chance to win a state championship too.”