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Sophomores play part in Placer cross country team’s success

By: Matthew Kimel, Journal sports editor
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Call them sophomore sensations.
 
Both Josh Mason and Moshe McCarter are both going to represent Placer High School’s cross country team at the CIF State Meet in Clovis on Nov. 24.
 
Last weekend in Folsom at the Div. III Sac-Joaquin Section Meet, Mason finished 15th overall with a time of 16 minutes, 44 seconds on the 5K course at Willow Hills. Placer finished first overall, winning its second straight section banner. 
 
“It feels really good to be a part of the top five,” said Mason, whose finish was Placer’s third best clocking. “It’s tough. There’s so many teams out there and only one wins.”
 
McCarter finished in Placer’s top seven, which all advance to the State Meet. 
 
Both Mason and McCarter spent some time in Placer’s top seven last year as freshmen. 
 
McCarter was pumped about the 2012 team’s section-title victory after watching the Hillmen win it all last year. 
 
“Being a part of it, I didn’t feel quite left out,” he said. 
 
 Both coach Randall Fee and assistant coach John Krogsrud have both seen improvement from the two young runners in the past year.
 
 “When you’re going to lose three of your top seven boys to graduation, you got to keep rebuilding,” said Fee, who will be going to the State Meet for the 11th straight year. “We’re very fortunate to have Moshe and Josh. Both of them spent a little time in the top seven as freshmen. They’ve really seasoned this year. They are going to be a big part of our top seven next year.”
 
Said Krogsrud: “They make each other better. They have a pretty amazing level of desire.”
 
Mason and McCarter made it a goal of theirs to be in the varsity boys top seven this season. Now they have a goal of making it as a team to podium at the State Meet. 
 
“We need to work as hard as we’ve ever worked and keep going,” said McCarter, adding that the Hillmen need to load up on carbs the night before the race.
 
While Placer expects the competition to be tough at the state championships, the team knows that anything can happen on any given day.
“That’s what we’re hoping for,” Fee said. 
 
Some 200 runners and close to 30 teams will make up the field in Clovis. 
 
Even though the Hillmen would like to win it all, they’ve already had a remarkable run in 2012 no matter the outcome of the season finale.
 
“I feel like we already achieved our goal,” Krogsrud said of the Pioneer Valley League-winning Hillmen. “What we wanted to do, we did. This is extra.”
 
Reach Matthew Kimel at matthewk@goldcountrymedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @matthewkimel