By CONNIE and LYNN BAER
Foothillers returned to the classroom full time this semester, masks in place, yet joyful to be back on campus. During the semester, the resiliency of students and staff enabled them to continue to distinguish themselves.
Congratulations to the boys and girls cross country teams for an historic finish to the season! Coach Ross Bartell shared their remarkable achievements: “The boys team won the Grossmont Hills League and Grossmont Conference title in dominant fashion with Russell Blakely placing first, Ian Rosen second, Kei Okura fourth, Josh Edwards fifth, and Mason Coyle 16th.”
The boys followed their Conference Championship with the first CIF Championship for Cross Country in school history, and they did it in impressive fashion, placing four runners in the top 10 and five in the top 15 out of over 100 runners in the CIF Division 2 Championship Race.
Ian Rosen led the way for the Foothillers with a second place finish. Their score of 34 points is one of the best by any team in CIF Championship History. Their performance at CIF Section finals also earned them the No. 1 ranking in the San Diego Union Tribune for all divisions combined!
After collecting their CIF Section Championship, the boys team travelled to Fresno over the Thanksgiving weekend for the California State Championships. They finished their historic season with a ninth place finish, becoming the first Grossmont Cross Country team to be ranked Top 10 in the state.
Rosen earned All-State honors with his seventh place finish, with a time of 15:37 on the 5k course. Ian becomes only the second Foothiller ever to earn All-State honors in Cross Country.
The girls team finished second in conference and eighth in CIF Division 2, led by All-Conference runner Suhey Arce, while teammates Izzy Cervantes, Sara Standlee, Emily Rivas, Abby Ornelas, Savy Mooney, Riley Rippengale, and Paisley Ruddy all finished the season with their strongest races of the year.
This semester two-year team captain and four year team member Carissa Freeman was the Grossmont Conference Golf Player of the Year as well as a member of the All-Conference Team, which consists of both the Valley League and the Hills League athletes. In the semi-finals, Carissa shot par at Steele Canyon with a 36 to take first place. In the finals at Carlton Oaks, she shot a 38 to take first place.
Carissa has qualified for the CIF Golf playoffs all four years in high school; all four years she has been selected first team All-League; all four years she has been a member of the All-Conference Team. Not surprisingly, Carissa received a scholarship to play golf at Cal State Los Angeles in the fall.
In October, the Foothiller Players had a very successful two week sold out run of “Clue” in its new Black Box Theater; due to its popularity, a Saturday matinee performance was added.
According to drama teacher Amity Ecker: “The students loved learning and performing in a brand new, state of the art theatre, and the audience appreciated the climate controlled space and comfortable seats.”
Their next production will be the musical “Footloose” opening on the Mainstage Theater in mid-March.
The week after Thanksgiving, the Instrumental Music Department returned to the Instrumental Music Room after having been displaced when the roof caved in last summer.
Since August, Instrumental Music students have valiantly shuttled between instructional spaces in the choir room, dance studio, the new Performing Arts Stage, and the great outdoors.
According to Orchestra Director Karen Childress-Evans: “It is truly great to be back home in our facility now. A huge thank you to the administration for getting this done in spite of multiple challenges and setbacks.”
But the show must go on and did on Dec. 16 in the new Performing Arts Auditorium. A great program was performed!
NJROTC Speech Contest
In October, NJROTC held its GHS Sound Off Competition with competitors from nine other schools. Foothiller Cadet Seaman Apprentice and freshman Malia Lebhar won first place as well as the Most Dynamic Speaker Award. The other winners were from Paloma Valley and Mar Vista High Schools. The judges were from the local San Diego Toastmasters 7 club with GHS Assistant Principal Dr. Christina Wilde in attendance.
Throughout the semester, an enthusiastic desire for a return to normal and Grossmont High School’s commitment to offering its students the best educational experience possible reinforced Grossmont’s motto, “It’s Great to Be Young and a Foothiller!”
— Connie and Lynn Baer write on behalf of the GHS Museum. Visit www.foothillermuseum.com.