When Tesoro freshman Amanda Gehrich crossed the finish line of the Dana Hills Nike Invitational on Sept. 22, she officially established herself as a true force in Orange County cross-country.
With a 3-mile time of 16:58.8, Gehrich broke the longstanding freshmen speed record at the Invitational. She also finished first among all female competitors, beating out the second place finisher by more than 30 seconds.
The sub-17 time was also a new record for freshmen competitors at the meet. Abby Miller, from Green Valley High in Henderson, Nevada, previously set the record in 1996 with an even 17:00 time.
Gehrich said she felt confident going into the race.
“I knew that it was going to be mostly flat and that I could pick up the pace and not hold back,” Gehrich said. “I felt really good.”
This whole season has likely felt pretty good to Gehrich. She won the first race of the year — her inaugural high school competition — at the Lagina Hills Invitational. She also placed second in the Woodbridge/Estancia/Costa Mesa Cross County Classic.
“Coming into this first month, I didn’t know that I could run this good early in the season. I just want to keep on pushing and getting those good times,” Gehrich said.
Watch for Gehrich and the rest of the competitive Tesoro team this season.