Paly, Gunn, and St. Francis joint Practice Meet


A hundred runners from rival schools line up to compete in this heated practice meet. Annually, at the beginning of every Cross Country season, Palo Alto and Gunn high school square off in a meet for friendly competition while also allowing new runners to gain some experience in real race situations. Returning runners and athletes often use this time to see their improvement from the previous season as well as for some intense competition with friends on the other side.

“It’s really to help the kids get a bit of a bearing for where they are as far as their training, help them, you know, get us set their course.” Coach Davidson said. “They’ve never raced a high school race before. Yeah, so for them it was just a matter of what a high school meet looks like. You know, don’t stress, go run.”

For Gunn Cross Country, expectations for this season are understated.

Gunn Head Coach Karen commented, “I feel like it’s gonna be a good season and maybe not with a lot of wins but I think we’re gonna do a lot of good growing as a team because we have a lot of good team leadership”

With the many Paly seniors that graduated last year, incoming varsity runners have large shoes to fill.

Grant Morgenfeld (’24) chases down the course biker. Photo by Tyler Wong

“From a team aspect, we are aiming to win our D2 CCS championship and be competitive at the state level.” Grant Morgenfeld (‘24) said. “Personally, I am looking to break our 5K school record and place within the top 5 runners at the state meet.”

Expectations for this season individually and as a team has set the bar high.

Coach Davidson highlights his outlook on this upcoming season, “good performances, strong, strong PRs from our returners and expecting a lot from our young folks. [Making sure] our new athletes that they’re enjoying the sport and feel comfortable in that they’re contributing.”