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Sports: A Noozhawk Partnership with Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table, The Lab, and American Riviera Bank
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Cross Country

Santa Barbara’s Jake Ballentine Sets Freshman Record at Gaucho Invite

Santa Barbara High's cross country team opened the season at the Gaucho Invitational, hosted by Foothill Tech on the UCSB Lagoon Course.

"It's an ideal way to open the year," Santa Barbara coach Olivia Perdices said. "You get a competitive meet on a true cross country course with ideal conditions right here in Santa Barbara. Afterwards, the athletes get a close up look at collegiate cross country with UCSB and Cal Poly running a dual meet in the same place."

Dons freshman Jackson Ballentine made an immediate impact in his first high school meet, setting a freshman boys meet record of 16:58.

"Jake is a competitive young man who's done a lot of road racing and triathlon growing up. He had a big start to his high school career today. There's a lot to look forward to," said Perdices

The girls were led by sophomore Alessandra Garza in 21:31 for 43rd place.

"You can't ask Ally to do much more than open up the season with nearly a minute course best," said Perdices.

She added: "The goal for us today was to find out who we are and where we stand. We're a really young team and today answered a lot of questions. We're still in a heavy training phase, but we had some nice early season performances and got some valuable race experience going forward."

The Dons compete next at the Seaside Invitational hosted by Buena High at Ventura State Beach Park on Friday Sept. 9.

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