Oliver Levine
Santa Barbara High’s Oliver Levine runs up “Poop Out Hill” at the CIF-SS Division 2 Cross Country Prelims at Mt. San Antonio College. Levine finished 11th in the Dons’ heat, helping them qualify for next week’s finals. (Courtesy photo)

Santa Barbara High’s boys cross country team stepped up to the competition at the CIF-SS Division 2 Prelims at Mt. San Antonio College on a hot Friday afternoon and earned a spot in next week’s finals.

The Dons, running in the fastest heat, placed fifth with 122 points to advanced to the finals on the Mt. SAC course. There was a 57-second split between the team’s five-scoring runners.

Top-seed Mira Costa won the heat with 57 points, followed by Tesoro (76), Ayala (81), Foothill (94) and Santa Barbara. Sixth-place Westlake (135) also advanced.

“We had five ranked teams in our heat, so we knew we needed to show up today,” said Santa Barbara coach Olivia Perdices. “Westlake got the only time qualfier into the finals, so it played out that ours was the fastest race in our division.”

The Dons were led by Oliver Levine (11th in 16:30). The other scorers included Xan Tassos (23rd, 16:57), Blaise Snow (26th, 17:03), Andreas Dybdahl (28th, 17:08) and Drew DeLozier (39th, 17:26). Colten McToldridge (41st, 17:29) and Bode Andrulaitis (61st, 18:13) rounded out the Santa Barbara finishers.

“We’ve talked all year about every man, every point, every race and these guys were all of that today,” said Perdice. “Oliver was just fearless running in the lead group and Xan wasn’t about to let this be his last race. We had a 57 second split on our first five guys, which was one of the tightest teams on the day.”

The Santa Barbara girls wrapped up their season, finishing 12th in their Division 2 heat. Ridley DeSoto led the way in 40th place at 22:01. Madeleine Van Bebber (53rd, 23:02), Mackenna Show (58th, 23:26), Arielle Feinberg (75th, 25:18), Mia Sanders (79th, 25:26) and Greta Mixon (83th, 25:54) rounded out the scoring.

“The girls left everything they had out there,” Perdices said. “The conditions were absolutely brutal. It got so hot and so many kids were getting carted out that CIF made the decision to shorten the divisions after ours from three miles to two.”

Avatar photo

Barry Punzal, Noozhawk Sports Editor

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