The event was the Channel League Cross Country Preview, but when it came to the first-place finishers, Wednesday’s competition was more of a review of last season.
Joseph Pearlman of Dos Pueblos and Madison Funk of San Marcos once again showed they are the class runners of the league. Now seniors, Pearlman ran away with the 3-mile boys race on DP’s on-campus course in 16 minutes, 12 seconds, while Funk pulled away for her varsity girls victory in 20:26.
Dos Pueblos’ Phoebe Wolfe Lyons highlighted the preview part of the non-scoring race among the six league members. The freshman showed no fear competing in her first high school race. She stayed within striking distance of Funk and pulled away from Shaina King of San Marcos on the last lap to finish in second place in 20:35. King came in third at 20:50.
Mallory Branum of Lompoc (21:27) and Nayeli Torres of Santa Ynez (21:58) rounded out the top five finishers for the girls.
Will Snyder of San Marcos was the second boys finisher in 17:02. The Royals’ Jacob Snodgrass (17:05) outkicked DP’s Foster Young (17:05.8) for third and Ethan Dwelley of San Marcos took fifth in 17:45.3.
Santa Barbara’s top finisher in the girls race was Alice Gibe in ninth place in 22:23. Collin Wells led the Dons’ boys in 14th in 18:08.4.
Pearlman and Funk are the defending Channel League champions.
“It was a good warm up here,” said Pearlman, who advanced to the CIF State Cross Country Championships last Fall.
He said he misses training with his friend Nathaniel Getachew (now at Pomona-Pitzer College), “but my teammates still push me, which is good.”
On his plans for his senior season, Pearlman simply replied: “Winning.”
Funk said it was fun to be racing again.
“I was excited, but it was super hot, though,” she said. “It was a fun first race, but definitely slower.”
After dealing with a concussion during last year’s track season, Funk said, “I’m back into it now, fully.”
She noted the Royals team is really young but has great potential.
“I think it will be good because they’re starting out really well,” she said of the team. “There are some good ones I’ll be running with.”
DP’s Wolfe Lyons is a young runner who plans to challenge Funk.
“It was really fun having her in front pushing me,” Wolfe Lyons said of Funk.
Even though it was her first race, DP coach Nash Jimenez had expectations for Wolfe Lyons to finish in second.
“We didn’t want her to go out on the first mile,” he explained. “You have to go to school first before you could actually do anything. But she told me at the end, ‘I could get her.’”
Jimenez likes Wolfe Lyons’ competitive spirit
“She’s an excellent runner. I’ve known her for a while and have been coaching her before she came to high school,” he said. “She has the legs underneath her. It’s just a matter of getting the distance right now. She was great. I’m proud of her.”
Wolfe Lyons is one of three freshmen on the DP varsity, which also includes two sophomores and one senior.
She said she enjoyed the meet’s atmosphere, seeing and hearing all the runners cheer for their teammates in the races.
“I really loved the setting, seeing all the teams push their teammates. It was really fun being part of a team,” she said.
She entered the race feeling nervous and excited.
“I really didn’t know what is going to be like racing against seniors, juniors and sophomores,” she said. “I think it went pretty.”