Boys’ Cross Country Wins The First City Championship For Venice High This School Year

Samuel Laxamana, Sports Editor

Reading Time: 2 minutes

This past fall, boys’ cross country won the CIF L.A. City Division 2 Championships and qualified for State. 

Cross country has been the only Venice sport to win a city championship this year. 

“That is why it makes it so sweet when a team does win—because it’s so hard to win a championship,” coach Alfredo Korzenik said.
“It’s exciting to represent. It’s not just about winning. I tell the kids, ‘Look, whether you win or lose, give me your best. I’m good and the school will be proud of you. Winning is just icing on the cake.’ 

Korzenik said that despite losing their top runner, James Jimenez, last year to graduation, they were able to beat their competition at Pierce College for their final meet.

“It’s a huge loss. They believed we weren’t going to do that good. But, we pulled through and each one of the seven runners did their very best,” he said. “Nobody had a day off that day. Everyone wanted it so badly.”

Despite their top three runners this year consisting of two freshmen, Alex Du and London Webster, and sophomore Paul Tranquilla, “the other four members of our team also pitched in and ran great races and were able to beat our competition,” he said.

After winning the CIF L.A. City Division 2 Championships, they qualified for State and headed to Woodwark Park in Fresno. The state course was 5,000 meters and included running on road, on hills & naturalistic pathways.
Seven runners represented the Gondoliers—six from the boys’ team, and one from the girls’ team.

Senior Lydia Prokopovich of the girls’ team joined the boys’ team for state.

Only three runners were familiar with the course, according to Korzenik, which hurt the team. 

“It was almost like a blowout in basketball, I’m just being honest,” he said. “We weren’t even close in state.”

Even though no runners qualified for another State meet, Korzenik said it was a big deal.

“They only take the top teams and in other sports they’ll usually take more than the winners of the city,” he said. “It’s every section—southern, northern, everything.”
Korzenik expects a big year for both teams next season.

“We have a lot of young runners and next fall, everybody’s coming back, as well as our top runners,” he said.