Blaise Snow led four Santa Barbara High boys cross country runners in the top 15, leading the Dons to first place at the Raider Invitational at College Park in Oxnard on Friday.
Santa Barbara scored 62 points to edge Dos Pueblos, which finished with 69 points. Westlake (70), San Marcos (117) and Foothill of Bakersfield (131) rounded out the top five teams.
Snow placed seventh on the flat three-mile course in 16:22, edging out Bryan Edgar of San Marcos by one second.
Cainan Birchim of the Dons clocked 16:29 for ninth place. He was followed by Nico Tassos (14th in 16:37), Bode Andrulaitis (15th,16:39) and Drew DeLozier (22nd, 16:48).
“This whole group of boys has been so smooth and consistent,” said Santa Barbara coach Olivia Perdices. “We’ve had a different leader every meet so far. They’re doing a great job sharing the work and the credit.”
On the girls side, Ventura took first place with 44 points, followed by Dos Pueblos (52), Westlake (68), Canoga Park (111) and Santa Barbara (157).
Annie Knecht made her cross country debut for the Dons and was the team’s top finisher in 12th place with a 3-mile time of 19:52. Mackenna Show finished in 28th (20:57) followed by Ailey Alexander (32nd, 21:05) and Belen Catalan Jaimes (53rd, 22:09). They all posted personal bests.
“The girls are running with more confidence every week, and I’m excited to add Anne to that mix,” said Perdices.
“We had key kids out on both sides today with some minor illnesses and injuries and there was a mix up with a course monitor sending the group with the 3rd and 4th boys the wrong way a little past the mile mark,” Perdices noted. “That cost us and Westlake time and points. All that said, I’m happy with where we finished and how we feel about coming back to this course for league finals in a month.”
Sophomore Eamon Gordon and senior Phoebe Wolfe Lyons took first place in the varsity races.
Gordon ran 15:46.31 and Wolfe Lyons clocked 18:41.36 on the course that will be used for the Channel League Championships.
Gordon was followed by senior Tyler Jamieson (16:12.64), senior Orlando Ye (16:40.45), junior Dominic Corral (16:52.34) and sophomore Andy Brennan (16:53.35).
The other scoring finishers for the DP girls were senior Ellie Gleason (19:17.97), senior Reese Wahlberg (20:35.75), junior Sophie Saleh (20:36.34), and sophomore Quinn Gleason (20:39.11).
“Phoebe Wolfe Lyons and Ellie Gleason started conservatively and moved up throughout the race until Phoebe was in the lead by half way and Ellie moved up into third,,” said girls coach Micks Purnell. “I was really glad to see Reese Wahlberg coming into form after having had to take a few weeks off from running late summer because of an injury. She, Sophie Saleh, and Quinn Gleason work nicely together moving up through the field for most of the race.”
DP boys coach David Jackson said Gordon “put on a terrific surge with one mile to go” to take the win.
Luciani Koroshec led a tightly bunched JV boys team to first place.
“With the merger of runners from our JV into the varsity, there was a lot on the line today for guys within the team,” said Jackson.
Bryan Edgar ran a personal best of 16:23 over three miles and placed eighth for the Royals at the Raider Invitational.
“Bryan looked very relaxed throughout,” said coach Marilyn Hantgin. “Bryan has been a perfect example for our young team. He has confidence, determination, and he’s willing to run through the pain. Ben Callanan, Ashton Johnsen, Justin Hess, and Ayden Welch rounded out our top-5 finishers. We continue to improve week after week. The improvements are a testament to their hard work.”
Shaina King led the San Marcos girls with a time of 20:06.
“Shaina is putting together an amazing senior year. I am so impressed with her positive attitude and competitive spirit,” said Hantgin. San Marcos’ other runners were Samara Shalhoub (freshman), Melina Vela (sophomore), Colette Keller (sophomore), Kennedy Funk (junior) and Melina Murray (freshman).