Phoebe Wolfe Lyons and the Dos Pueblos girls cross country team showed no let-up in dominating the Channel League Championships on Wednesday on their home course.
Wolfe Lyons, as she had done in the previous two league meets, ran away from the field. This time, however, she stepped up her pace and set a personal-best time of 18:29.70 on the 3-mile course.
The win gave her two league titles in three years, as there wasn’t a season last fall because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Wolfe Lyons laughed when she realized she ran a PR.
“It’s hilarious. I was definitely not coming out here expecting it,” she said. “Our goal is to make it to state, so today I feel like everyone had their own personal goals and stuff like that.
“I know we really wanted to sweep today, and we really wanted to win.”
The Chargers, ranked No. 6 in Division 3 of the CIF-Southern Section, scored a perfect 15 points as their runners finished in the top five places for scoring as well as in sixth and ninth place.
Ellie Gleason (19:21.44) came in second place for the Chargers and was followed by Sarah Dent (19:34.99), Reese Wahlberg (19:42.08) and London Wahlberg (19:50.78) for the scoring places. Sophie Saleh was sixth (20:26.61) and Katherine Hellman placed ninth (20:56.20).
“I’m proud of their perfect score, but even more so, three of our seven varsity girls ran their PRs today on our hilly and tough course, as did our alternate,” DP coach Jen Brown said. “This sets us up nicely for a great start to CIF prelims at Mount SAC next Saturday.”
Lompoc’s Mallory Branum came in seventh (20:43.55) to help the Braves finish in second place in the final race and take third overall to qualify for CIF. Santa Barbara’s Ridley DeSoto placed eighth (20:44), and the Dons came in third and earned second place overall to book a spot in the prelims. San Marcos was fourth.
Wolfe Lyons said the sweep was especially satisfying because “everyone’s feeling a little tired now as the season is progressing.
“Today was just extra fun because it really showed just how strong we are, coming through injuries, aches and pains, head colds, stuff like that and still come out here and have a really great day,” she said.
Wolfe Lyons said the team is looking forward to the postseason races at the hilly Mount San Antonio College course.
“I think our team is super strong and super mentally tough, which is really important for the Mount SAC course,” she said. “I think the big part now is just keeping everyone in a positive mindset, keeping everyone healthy and keeping everyone going.
“I know the last time we ran at CIF finals, when I was a freshman, everyone was kind of sick or injured. So, right now the hardest part is just keeping everyone healthy, keeping everyone in a good spot. As long as we got that going for us, our team has a really good shot.”
Top 10 Finishers
1. Phoebe Wolfe Lyons, 11, Dos Pueblos, 18:29.70
2. Elliot Gleason, 11, Dos Pueblos, 19:21.44
3. Sarah Dent, 11, Dos Pueblos, 19:34.99
4. Reese Wahlberg, 11, Dos Pueblos, 19:42.08
5. London Wahlberg, 12, Dos Pueblos, 19:50.78
6. Sophie Saleh, 10, Dos Pueblos, 20:26.61
7. Mallory Branum, 12, Lompoc, 20:43.55
8. Ridley DeSoto, 10, Santa Barbara, 20:44.93
9. Katherine Hellman, 12, Dos Pueblos, 20:56.20
10. Celina Zambrano, 11, San Marcos, 20:56.45
— Noozhawk sports editor Barry Punzal can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Noozhawk Sports on Twitter: @NoozhawkSports. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.