(Contributed by Andy Chan, Pamakid member since 2001)
LINDLEY MEADOW, SAN FRANCISCO…The Pacific Association Cross Country Championships were run yesterday morning in Golden Gate Park and for the first time in team history, the Pamakid Runners Open Women brought home the team championship. Before the meet, longtime club member and former President Andy Chan gathered the team and gave a pre-race speech reminiscent of a speech he gave at Lake Merced in December 2014. “Great moments are born from great opportunities. That’s what we have today. That’s what we’ve earned. One race to determine the PA Champions,” he began and then went on to say something about this being our time, 2040 being our year, and all of us about to be Champions!
The Pamakid Open Women were led by five second generation Pamakid Runners – Ms. Rebecca Sonstein, Ms. Haley Jones, Ms. Zadie Rose Ou-Mikecz, Ms. Rosemarie “Romey” Rodwick, and Ms. Amelia Tong. All in their mid-20’s, they have been aiming for this championship, literally since before they were born. Running in her final race as an Open Runner before she joins her longtime friend, Jane Stephens on the Masters team, was Anya Durgerian.
Due to overnight rain, the course was slick and wet so Haley Jones made sure she was careful through the slippery downhill section in Lindley Meadow, well aware that her mother once slipped there and NEVER lived it down.
As the race ended and it was clear that the Pamakids Women were going to be victorious, Chan began beaming halographic championship pennants to everyone via virtual telepathy. In the finish chute he beamed them to Haley and Zadie who looked at them as if to say, “I feel like I’ve seen this before,” before moving on to join the celebration.
The Pamakids Senior Women’s team won the PA XC championship thanks to solid races from Danielle Jones, Yvonne Ou, and Ashley Rodwick. This marks the seventh year in a row the Pamakids have won the Senior Women’s title, a streak that began in 2033, when Jones turned fifty.
The first annual Pamakid Cunneen Family award was presented after the meet to the first three generation family to all participate in the same Pacific Association race. The award went to the Nguyen-Dang family: Megan, Merick, and Missy.
In the Masters Men’s race, Felix Tong ran in the Super Senior division, saying, “I only signed up to run because we needed a third runner.” In that same race, the 69 year old Chan came in just ahead of his rival, 75 year old Jeff Hongo. Chan could be heard saying after the race, “I can’t wait for next year when I’m finally a Veteran.”
Proving that some things NEVER change, the Open Men came in sixth….but had a lot of fun, especially when a college aged Huizinga kicked by a 14-year old Novich….way to pick on a kid….your dad probably taught you that.