Wednesday, July 23, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

O’Keeffe sets the pace for DHS cross country

By
From page B1 | November 15, 2013 |

1115fionaW

DHS sophomore Fiona O'Keeffe runs at a meet earlier in her record-breaking season. O'Keeffe will try to defend her title as the Blue Devils head to the Sac-Joaquin Section championships on Saturday. Carolee Gregg/Courtesy photo

Davis High sophomore Fiona O’Keeffe already is having a season for the ages as she prepares to defend her Sac-Joaquin Section cross country individual title on Saturday.

After capturing the section crown as a freshman, O’Keeffe has not slowed down a bit. In fact, she regularly leaves her competition — as well as records — in the dust. In 2013, O’Keeffe has won six races, including four in a row, and set two course records as well as a new section benchmark.

The outstanding achievements have the Blue Devil speedster currently ranked third out of all high school girls in the state. Among Division I runners, O’Keeffe tops the list.

One of O’Keeffe’s most impressive victories this season came on Nov. 2 at the same place she will run on Saturday, the Willow Hill course in Folsom. Racing on the 5,000-meter course, the DHS standout crossed the line in 17 minutes, 36 seconds — the fastest time ever run there since 2004, when it began hosting the SJS Championship meet.

DHS freshman Sofia Castiglioni, who came in with the eighth-fastest time in section history (18:23) at those Nov. 2 Delta Valley Conference finals, says it is more than natural talent that makes her good friend such a great runner:

“Fiona is very determined,” Castiglioni said. “She is persistent, hardworking and always runs with a purpose.”

When she was growing up, O’Keeffe tried playing other sports, but says it always seemed like she was just meant to run.

“I used to play rec soccer, but most of the time I was just running back and forth anyways,” she added.

O’Keeffe’s focus on running has served not only the Devil cross country team, but also the track squad. Last season, she followed up her appearance in the CIF state cross country meet — where she took sixth place and eventually qualified for a national event — by earning a state-meet berth in the 3,200 meters.

Though she is undoubtedly one of Davis’ premier athletes, O’Keeffe doesn’t consider herself a leader of the Devil cross country team:

“I don’t tend to think of myself as a leader,” she said. “I really look up to the older girls who have helped to shape our team into what it is.”

On Saturday, some of those more experienced runners — like seniors Sophie Meads and Pooja Tripathi and juniors Giulia McIsaac, Maggie McManis and Jeanne-Marie McPherson — will work with O’Keeffe and Castiglioni as the Blue Devils look to unseat St. Francis, which edged DHS to win last year’s section team title.

“With how good Fiona is, she could be really cocky, but she’s not.” Castiglioni explained. “She is very team oriented.”

Veteran Devil coach Bill Gregg thinks what O’Keeffe does on the course provides leadership for the team:

“(Fiona) leads by example,” Gregg said. “She’s a quiet leader and doesn’t say much to the whole team, however, I see her being more vocal with the varsity girls.”

Something the entire team excels at, is training, and it should come as no surprise that O’Keeffe is one of the squad’s hardest workers.

“We meet for practice five days a week,” she said. “We usually have two harder workouts each week, and the other days are normal runs. On the weekend, we’ll get together for a long run if we don’t have a race. If we do, the day before is an easy, short run.”

And while that might seem like a lot of running for some people, O’Keeffe can’t get enough.

“Really loving the sport is my strength,” O’Keeffe said. “I’ve always enjoyed running, so it’s fun for me, not a chore.”

But passion can only take you so far. Gregg points out that O’Keeffe consistently wins races because “she’s great at processing race plans and strategies.”

If O’Keeffe can execute her strategy on Saturday the way she has all season, there could be another title in her already full bag.

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 1 comment

The Davis Enterprise does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • michaelNovember 14, 2013 - 11:35 pm

    good luck and the best to her, hopefully she will retain the cross country title tomorrow

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

     
    Second Mellon grant supports Mondavi events

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Are arachnids awesome or awful? Visit Bohart Museum to find out

    By Kathy Keatley Garvey | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    One hundred years at the State Fair for local shorthorn cow herd

    By Elizabeth Case | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Police arrest suspect in robbery spree

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

    Madhavi Sunder joins Davis school board race

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A2

     
    Crews make gains on massive Washington wildfire

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    New safety rules proposed to curb oil train fires

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    Grandparents support group meets weekly

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Kaiser awards grants to Yolo nonprofits

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

    NAMI program offers mental illness information, support

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Backpacks for Kids launches annual donation drive

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Architecture in Davis, on ‘Davisville’

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Speaker will spin some fishing tales at Davis meeting

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3 | Gallery

     
    Kids can paint their own Breyer horses at Davis store

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Car lovers will speak Sunday at gallery

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Racial diversity crucial to drug trials, treatments

    By San Francisco Chronicle | From Page: A4

    Exchange program seeks host families

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    Wine-tastings will benefit YCCC

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Pedro party will benefit Yolo Hospice

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Quaff a beer and watch the bats

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5 | Gallery

    Enterprise is focus of Davis Roots talk

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

     
    .

    Forum

    They’re pickier than she is

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

     
    U.S. is complicit in attack

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6, 2 Comments

    Extinguish extremism for peace

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6, 2 Comments

     
    With profound gratitude

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

     
    Someday, there will be peace

    By Rich Rifkin | From Page: A6

    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

     
    .

    Sports

    Former Davis man at crossroads: biking or artwork?

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Aggie golfer headed to men’s U.S. Amateur Championship

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Giants outlast Phillies

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    River Cats nip dogs

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

    A’s fall in extra innings

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Blue Jays hitting upends Red Sox

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Pyrenees please Nibali, Rogers in Tour Stage 16

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

     
    Albergotti to discuss Armstrong’s doping scandal

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B8

    .

    Features

    Field to Fork: Skyelark Ranch, not a lark at all

    By Dan Kennedy | From Page: A8 | Gallery

     
    Name droppers: ASUCD hands out awards

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8 | Gallery

    .

    Arts

    Village Homes to host Rita Hosking Trio

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7 | Gallery

     
    Tomato Festival makes call for young artists

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

    Additional casting notice for ‘Hello Dolly’

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

     
    Hear Los Tres de Winters on Thursday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

    Picott to play at The Palms Playhouse

    By Kate Laddish | From Page: A7

     
    Fairy-tale romance in Barnyard Theatre’s ‘Pinky’

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

    Soar to Neverland with DMTC’s ‘Peter Pan’

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7 | Gallery

     
    .

    Business

    .

    Obituaries

    .

    Comics

    Comics: Wednesday, July 23, 2014

    By Creator | From Page: B6