High school cross country teams begin their seasons this weekend, and the Santa Barbara High boys will line up at the starting at Saturday’s UCSB Gaucho Invitational as the No. 3-ranked team in CIF-Southern Section Division 2.

The Dons are listed behind Channel League rival Ventura and Newbury Park in the preseason rankings done by Rich Gonzalez, editor of PrepCalTrack.com.

Santa Barbara returns most of its top runners from last year’s squad that advanced to the CIF State Championships for the first time in program history. The squad is led by senior Andreas Dybdahl, the reigning CIF Track & Field State Champion in the 1600 meters.

The other returning starters from Coach Olivia Perdices’ state qualifying team in cross country are Blaise Snow, Bode Andrulaitis, Cainan Birchim and Nicholas Tassos.

The only other local team to make the preseason rankings is Cate at No. 5 in Division 5 Boys.

Rescheduled Water Polo

The boys water polo game between Santa Barbara High and Carpinteria on Thursday at the Carpinteria Community Pool has been postponed due to several illnesses on the Santa Barbara team.

The game has been rescheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 3 at a time to be determined.

— Noozhawk sports editor Barry Punzal can be reached at bpunzal@noozhawk.com. Follow Noozhawk Sports on Twitter: @NoozhawkSports. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.