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Cross Country

Erica Schroeder, San Marcos Girls, Cate’s Kyril Van Schendel Take Top Honors at CIF Prelims

Hunter Clark, Dos Pueblos girls also advance to CIF-SS cross country finals

Erica Schroeder of San Marcos and Kyril Van Schendel of Cate posted the fastest times in their respective divisions on Saturday at the CIF-Southern Section Cross Country Prelims in Riverside.

Schroeder ran one of the fastest times of the day, and the San Marcos girls and boys teams posted strong finishes in their heat races to qualify for next week’s finals in Riverside. It's the first time in several years both teams advanced to the finals.

The San Marcos girls finished first in their heat race in Division 2 at the CIF-SS Cross Country Prelims. Click to view larger
The San Marcos girls finished first in their heat race in Division 2 at the CIF-SS Cross Country Prelims. (Courtesy photo)

Schroeder, who recently signed with the Washington, was the top finisher among all Division 2 girls, covering the 3-mile course in Riverside in a personal best of 17 minutes, 5.5 seconds. Her time led the Royals to first place in Heat 1, and was second fastest time for girls overall. Only Malibu’s Claudia Lane ran faster, clocking 16:51.6 in a Division 4 heat.

San Marcos placed five girls in the top 30. Wichita State-bound Natalie McClure finished 7th overall with a PR of 17:46.6, freshman Madison Funk was 14th in 18:22.4, Kaela Cleary took 24th in 18:51.2 and Mya Adornetto was 28th in 18:55.  The Royals had a team score of 73, beating out top-ranked D2 team, Claremont, who had 76 points.

The San Marcos boys finished sixth in their Division 2 heat and advanced to the section finals. Logan Briner led the Royals with a 10th-place finish in a personal best of 15:11.7. Jason Petersen finished in 23rd in a PR of 15:34.  The Royals scored 179 team points just behind Ventura’s fifth-place finish of 174 points.

“We are so proud of how our teams ran today,” San Marcos coach Lawrence Stehmeier said. “ We have been quietly working all season long to prepare for a bid to CIF Finals and on to the State Meet.  I think our girls team, in particular, surprised their competitors today.  It will be fun to see what they can do over the next two weeks.”

Van Schendel ran 15:55.7,  the fastest time among boys in Division 5. The Cate boys team placed sixth in their heat and advanced to next Saturday’s finals.

"The boys came into the meet with three goals—beating Dunn and Midland, their old rivals from the Condor League who were in their race, and qualifying for the finals," said Cate coach Karl Weiss. "They accomplished all three with a flourish."

After Van Schendel,  junior Ian MacFarlane placed 31st in 18:01, followed closely by senior co-captain Henry Walsh (40th in 18:14), sophomore Josh Shields (48th, 18:34) and freshman Sean Busse (59th, 19:09).

Also qualifying for the finals were Hunter Clark of Dos Pueblos and the DP girls team. Clark, running as an individual in Heat 1 of Division 2, placed 11th in 15:18.7. The Charger girls finished in eighth place in their heat race, led by senior Christina Rice, who was the second-place finisher in 17:35.

“Our girls race went according to plan, with Christina Rice running with the lead pack and finishing second in her heat,” said DP coach Josh Christensen. “Our girls needed to finish eighth place or better to advance and they did just that. All seven of our girls ran a wise first half of the race and were able to track girls down in the latter half.

“In a field of 17 teams, they were well out of eighth place going into the third mile. They kept their focus and were able to pass tired runners just like we had planned.”

Natalie Hawkins was the second DP runner in 46th place in 19:26. She was followed by Kailey Reardon (52nd, 19:33), Emmi Wyttenbach (61st, 19:44), Ruby Gans (69th, 20:26) and Molly Gans (71st, 20:31).

Christensen said Clark’s race could have been a disaster as the senior got pushed into a crowd of runners at the start and remained there for the first mile as the lead pack pulled away.

“Once the race thinned out he had some work to do to get back with the lead pack. He found his way back into the top 10 and cruised to the finish line to secure his place in next week’s race,” said Christensen.

Noozhawk sports editor Barry Punzal can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk Sports on Twitter: @NoozhawkSports. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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