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Cross Country

San Marcos Girls, Boys Upset Ventura to Win Channel League Meet No. 2

Erica Schroeder of the Royals and DP's Hunter Clark capture individual titles

The San Marcos won both the boys and girls team races and Erica Schroeder of the Royals and Hunter Clark of Dos Pueblos captured the individual titles at the second Channel League cross country meet of the season at Lake Casitas.

The Royals girls edged CIF Division 2 fifth-ranked Ventura by one point, 34-35. Dos Pueblos was next with 71, followed by Buena (93) and Santa Barbara (141). In the boys race, San Marcos scored 35 points and Ventura 45, while DP came in with 81 points, Buena 86 and Santa Barbara 129.'

Solid pack running led San Marcos to the boys team victory over No. 5-ranked Ventura, as Jason Peterson (15:48), Logan Briner (15:49), and Jerry Swider (15:57) placed third, fourth, and fifth, respectively. Swider's time was a PR. David Dinklage led the second pack of Royals, finishing 11th in 16:20, Ty Burre was 12th in a PR of 16:24 and Phillip Nauman was 13th (16:25)

Hunter Clark of Dos Pueblos ran 15:43 to win the boys race at Lake Casitas. Click to view larger
Hunter Clark of Dos Pueblos ran 15:43 to win the boys race at Lake Casitas.
Erica Schroeder of San Marcos ran away with the girls race, winning in 17:54. Click to view larger
Erica Schroeder of San Marcos ran away with the girls race, winning in 17:54.

Schroeder ran the hilly course in 17:54, finishing more than 30 seconds faster than second-place Sofia Ramos of Ventura, who ran an 18:26. Dos Pueblos' Christina Rice came in third with a time of 18:28. Kaela Clark of the Royals placed fifth in a PR of 19:08, followed by Mya Adornetto (7th, 19:15), Natalie McClure (10th, 19:29) and Madison Funk (11th, 19:50, PR).

Clark held off Buena's Brett Beattie and won in 15:43. Beattie, who ran 15:45, was recently ranked as the No. 3 runner among Division 2 schools in California.

DP coach Josh Christensen said it was important for both teams to finish ahead of Buena to improve their postseason chances. The girls beat the Bulldogs for the second time while the boys avenged a loss from the first league meet. Whichever team wins in the final league meet will advance to the CIF Prelims.

“Our boys came in focused on beating Buena after losing to them by one place on our home course at the first league meet. We had a pack of four in the very back at about the halfway point, but they ran consistent races and were able to strike with other runners started falling off their pace,” said Christensen.

Josh McGregor ran 16:13 and finished ninth, Joseph Pearlman was 22nd (17:27.37) and Henry Urschel was 26th in a personal best of 17:55.20.

“I was proud to see Josh McGregor's improvement from the last league meet; he's earned every bit of that, and he's still hungry for more,” said Christensen.

The DP coach was excited about the sophomore Urschel, who ran in his first varsity meet and was the No. 6 finisher for DP.

“Henry not only held his own, but contributed to the team score by displacing Buena's fifth runner,” said Christensen.

For the DP girls, Natalie Hawkins finished 13th, while Kailey Reardon, Emmi Wyttenbach and Ruby Gans finished within 20 seconds of each other to place 17th, 18th and 20th, respectively.

“Molly Gans and Joanna Zukin were our sixth and seventh finishers, but each made a difference in the team scoring by displacing Buena's fifth runner,” said Christensen. “Our girls ran under control and were focused on their race plan. They knew that every place counted and were making big moves in the latter half of the race. I'm proud of how they ran top to bottom and I'm excited that they're now in the drivers seat for a spot in Riverside at the Prelims meet.”

Santa Barbara High freshman Jake Ballantine clocked 16:50 and placed 19th overall in the boys varsity race. Junior Thomas Everest came in 23rd with a PR of  17:35.

"Racing in the Channel League is always intense,” Santa Barbara coach Olivia Perdices said. “Jake never hesitated. He just went out and competed. That's as fast as I've had a freshman run on this course.

"Thomas put together a nice race today,” she added. “He's been training well and it always feels good when that translates to race day.”

Hailey Zheng was the top girls finisher for Santa Barbara in 19th at 21:06. Sophomore Ally Garza was 26th at 21:43.

"That was a loaded race and Hailey really stepped up and competed well. She's just starting to realize what she's capable of," said Perdices.

Dos Pueblos Boys

Hunter Clark - 15:43

Josh McGregor - 16:13

Joseph Pearlman - 17:27

Jack Randmaa - 17:47

Loren Young - 17:52

Henry Urschel - 17:55

Ben Stefanski - 19:46

Dos Pueblos Girls

Christina Rice - 18:28

Natalie Hawkins - 20:11

Kailey Reardon - 20:49

Emmi Wyttenbach - 20:55

Ruby Gans - 21:06

Molly Gans - 21:36

Joanna Zukin - 22:09

— Noozhawk sports reporter Christian Eckert can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @NoozhawkSports and @noozhawk. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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