This week's Cross Country adventures took us from a cluster meet at Morley Field on Tuesday to the Mt. SAC Invitational hosted by Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut California on Friday. In the varsity cluster races, the team finish order was the same for both the girls and boys with Scripps Ranch and Cathedral Catholic finishing in front of Coronado and University City, La Jolla, and Serra finishing behind. Our top finisher for the boys was Brad Busby who placed 5th with a time of 16:38 over the 3.08-mile City Conference course. He was followed by Connor Jaynes with a PR of 16:50 in 9th, Ian Hurlburt with 17:01 in 14th, Patrick Harris in 17:03 for 15th place, and Casey Harris with a PR of 17:51 in 25th to complete the scoring. The pushers were Cole Mullins who placed 28th with a time of 18:02 and Grant Hawthorne in 29th place with 18:03. Also running in the varsity race were Cole Nichols with a time of 18:14 and Chris Russell in 19:05. We were missing two of our varsity girls because of nagging injuries and sickness, and not everyone who ran was up to par. The overall winner was Teresa Perez who nearly broke the course record for girls with a time of 18:37 over the same course the boys ran. She was followed by freshmen Jessica Ehret and Sofia Van Arsdale in 10th and 16th with times of 20:08 and 20:27. Naya Tamariz placed 21st in 20:48 followed by Abby Hundley in 21:10 and Natalya Gomez who ran 22:31.
Two days later found the varsity boys and girls at the 70th Annual Mt. SAC Cross Country Invitational in Walnut California. This time the girls were mostly healthy, and we had our top varsity boys along. The boys were entered in one of the afternoon's fast varsity Division-IV races and the girls were in the combined Division IV/V Sweepstakes. The Sweepstakes races are for the fastest teams, by division, at the meet. Nearly all the boys came away with Personal Records with Busby leading the way by placing 4th in a time of 16:07 over the fabled 2.93-mile course. He was followed by Hurlburt who placed 14th in 16:43, Jaynes (20th in 16:53), Patrick Harris (27th in 17:01), Mullins (39th in 17:26), and Casey Harris who ran 17:52 for 62nd place. There were 180 finishers with 26 full teams in the race and we came out in 2nd behind Harvard-Westlake.
In the girls' Sweepstakes race Perez stayed with the leaders until in final sprint where she prevailed over Sophia Gutierrez by 8 seconds with a time of 17:50. Madden Hundley was 11th in 19:12 followed by Naya Tamariz (14th in 19:25), Abigail Hundley (16th in 19:28), Ehret (17th in 19:33) and Claire Morris who ran 20:32.
The girls' efforts won the sweeps for the first time since 2009 with our San Diego Section Division-IV rival Sage Creek placing 2nd. We scored 59 points to Sage Creek's 78. Third went to Flintridge Prep out of 16 full teams and 100 finishers. Although Sage Creek was the only other San Diego Section school in our race, Athletic.net merges all the races and produces a hypothetical meet for all the San Diego Schools that ran over the weekend. Out of the 24 San Diego teams entered we placed 4th behind La Costa Canyon, Canyon Crest, and Rancho Bernardo with Sage Creek in the 5th spot. Our top Western League rivals placed 6th (Cathedral Catholic), 8th (Scripps Ranch), and 10th (University City).
Based on the Mt. SAC invite results the Islander girls are now ranked by coaches' poll at 3rd in the county behind La Costa Canyon and Canyon Crest. They're the top D-IV team followed by Sage Creek and Valley Center. The boys’ team didn't make the top 10 overall lists, but they're now ranked 2nd in Division-IV behind Sage Creek with Crawford ranked third. Statewide, the girls are still ranked 4th in Division IV but that ranking was on October 19th, before Mt. SAC. Perez is ranked 7th in the state among D-IV runners and 5th overall in San Diego County.