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Running at the head of the class

Cross country scholars
By: Lloyd Jones Courtesy submission
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There have been articles written on high school and collegiate athletes who balance their success in sports with similar achievements academically, but it’s rare when it involves an entire team. The top seven boys from the Rocklin High School cross country team put together some outstanding numbers this season. Although they did well at meets, their most important scores came from the classroom. Typically, the highest grade-point-average achieved in high school is a 4.0. However, some students also take advanced placement classes (college level courses) over and above high school requirements. When those grades are factored into a students GPA the number can go as high as 5.0. The Thunder cross-country team’s four seniors – Ryan Jones (4.80 GPA), Alex Macchietto (4.40), Ravi Sharma (5.00), Ryan McCormick (5.00), junior Connor Hensley (4.66), and sophomores George Miao (4.57), and Ty Medd (4.66) are in that category. Their collective grade-point-average is an astounding 4.73. “Wow, I knew their school schedule was tough, and their grades were good, but I didn’t know they were that high,” said Rocklin cross-country coach Dan Pereira, “very impressive.” All seven have very rigorous schedules to include advanced placement classes in calculus, physics, chemistry, literature and composition, and biology. “These are exceptional young men who have a great sense of self-discipline, both on the track and in the classroom,” said principal David Bills. “Rocklin High School is proud of them.” Although they didn’t make it to the state meet, their athletic season wasn’t that bad, either. The Thunder placed seventh out of 24 teams at the CIF Sac-Joaquin Sections Meet held in Folsom. Their average time was 17:28 running over the difficult 5,000 meter Willow Hills course. Pereira thought his boys team might place higher because of their outstanding achievements prior to running at sections, but he wasn’t disappointed in their performance. “We are in a very competitive section with some of the top teams in state,” said Pereira. “I am very proud of them for what they have accomplished.” And, too, were the boys. They ran extremely well as a team, sometimes with five of them placing within a minute of each other. Cross country is scored by the total time it takes for a school’s top five runners to cross the finish line. “We had a good time all year,” said team captain Jones. “We got along well. It was a good fit for all of us.” Pereira said his club’s performance in academics, as well as athletics, is a reason this will be a team he’ll always remember. Although he will lose his seniors through graduation, he never had to worry about their academic eligibility. And, he has three scholar/athletes who could return next season. “This group has a special place in my heart,” said Pereira of these seven young men, “and I will always remember their dedication to both their academics and athletics.” Lloyd Jones followed and supported Rocklin High cross country all during the 2011 season