There is more to cross country than running a race.


Runners need to be physical and mentally tough and execute a game plan. Central Heights coach Troy Prosser wanted to see improvement in those areas Thursday in the Pleasanton meet.


"Going into the meet, we knew we had a few things that needed fine tuning," Prosser said. "One thing I really liked was how our race strategy really started coming together and we had some really exceptional moments of toughness on display."


The Vikings took steps forward. Central Heights had five runners place in the top seven of the varsity races. Taryn Compton and David Craft had runner-up performances.


"To see Taryn come from behind and put a very high quality runner behind her in the past quarter mile showed that next big step in her progress along with that of several others also," Prosser said. "I can’t say how proud I am of this group for continuing to push through some nagging injuries and even the cloud of uncertainty that this entire fall season has had hanging over it."


Lily Meyer took seventh for the girls. Luke Cotter and Dakota Kuczmarski were fourth and seventh for the state-ranked boys, who won the meet.


The middle school had seven runners place in the top seven of their races.


"Next week marks the end of the middle school season but, no matter the outcome, I think there will be a lot of smiles knowing how far we have come over the past few months," Prosser said.


The Viking varsity squads compete Thursday in the league meet at Mission Valley.


Varsity Boys (first)


2nd — David Craft, 18:26; 4th — Luke Cotter, 19:03; 7th — Dakota Kuczmarski,19:37; 14th — Nicholas Schultze, 20:37; 23rd — Alex Skeet, 25:09; 24th — Jesse Wharton, 26:02.


Varsity Girls


2nd — Taryn Compton, 22:11; 7th — Lily Meyer, 23:26; 25th — Cheyenne Higbie, 28:32.


8th Grade Boys


1st — Connor Burkdoll, 11:40; 2nd — Cody Hammond, 11:57, 3rd — Owen Miller, 12:01.


8th Grade Girls


2nd — Melaney Chrisjohn, 13:24.


7th Grade Boys


2nd — Aydan Dunbar, 13:22; 5th — Hunter Johnson, 13:59; 7th — Aidan Howland, 14:42; 16th — Cash Miller, 17:58.


7th Grade Girls


19th — Arabella Dunbar, 17:48.