Scotts Valley High senior Ashlyn Boothby, left, placed sixth in the CIF State Cross Country Division IV Championship girls race at Woodward Park in Fresno on Nov. 25, 2023. (Raul Ebio - special to the Press Banner)

Scotts Valley High senior Ashlyn Boothby made one last trip to the CIF State Cross Country Championships in November and walked away with a top-10 finish against some of the best runners in California.

Boothby placed sixth in 17 minutes, 50.0 seconds in the Division IV girls championship race, followed by teammate Ava Decleve (18:24.3) who took 15th to help the Falcons place eighth as a team with a score of 228.

“I had a great time getting to hang out with my team, and the bus ride over is always fun,” Boothby said.

Other Scotts Valley finishers include Jenni Brownfield (19:50.4; 61st), Hanna Shehorn (20:24.5; 91st), Violet McCutchen (21:16.6; 123rd), Diana Alivov (21:33.5; 133rd) and Dylon Turzak (21:44.5; 138th).

Scotts Valley senior Ben George (16:07.6) took 32nd in the Division IV boys race, helping the Falcons place 12th as a team with a score of 319.

Fellow teammate Aaron Weiss (16:45.0) placed 69th, followed by Mason Lantz (16:53.7; 78th), Eli Granados (17:15.1; 108th), Jackson Stull (17:55.3; 138th), Spencer George (17:59.0; 140th) and Alex May (18:19.7; 15th).

Boothby—who recently committed to compete at Stanford University in 2024—enjoyed the trek to Woodward Park in Fresno on Nov. 25, but she wasn’t too pleased about her performance on the course.

Despite having a right foot injury, Boothby pushed herself to compete and adrenaline took care of the pain for the first two miles.

However, the lingering injury affected her more mentally than physically because the only time her foot hurt the most was during the final mile and after she stopped.

“I feel like it definitely took more of a toll on my mental fortitude, as opposed to my physical performance,” she said. “I tried.”

The injury occurred in the middle of a workout. Boothby was nervous about it, especially since she hadn’t run much of the week leading up to the race. 

“I didn’t really know what was gonna happen and I think I definitely made it a lot worse,” she said.

Boothby had dealt with some other minor tweaks earlier in the season. She was able to take a few days off before getting back to full strength.

Yet, she didn’t know what to expect going into the State finals and racing on an injury is not always great. 

“I definitely know I could have done better, so it still kind of hurts a little bit,” Boothby said. “And I always dreamed of winning a state title, so it’s a little bit sad to kind of say goodbye to that one. 

“But that’s OK, life happens and injuries happen, unfortunately. It kind of sucks that I got injured at that point in the season. But if you look across the whole season, I’m still really proud of what my team and myself were able to accomplish.”

In 2023, the Falcon girls’ team won its third straight Central Coast Section D-IV and fourth straight Santa Cruz Coast Athletic League championship.

As an individual, Boothby captured her third straight section and fourth straight league title.

Boothby will have a few weeks to recover before the track and field season begins in the spring. 

“I had a really fun time, which is the main goal,” she said. “Definitely enjoying the process, though, which is the most important thing.”

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A Watsonville native who has a passion for local sports and loves his community. A Watsonville High, Cabrillo College, San Jose State University and UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism alumnus, he primarily covers high school athletics, Cabrillo College athletics, various youth sports in the Pajaro Valley and the Santa Cruz Warriors. Juan is also a video game enthusiast, part-time chef (at home), explorer and a sports junkie. Coaches and athletic directors are encouraged to report scores HERE.


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