The girls cross country team finished third in its heat last Saturday at Mt. SAC in Walnut to advance to CIF finals on Saturday, Nov. 19, on the same course. The boys also advanced with a seventh place finish in their heat.
The top five teams from each of three girls’ heats, as well as the team with the best time not among the top 15, qualified for finals. For the boys, the top eight teams from each of two heats qualified.
Many of the top ranked teams typically hold back in the prelims to conserve energy for CIF finals. That makes it difficult to determine whether the girls time of 1:34:08, the third fastest among the 16 qualifiers, is an indication that the eighth-ranked Breakers are poised to make a strong run to state finals at Woodward Park in Fresno on Saturday, Nov. 26.
The boys will have to step up their performance considerably if they want to qualify for their ninth straight trip to Fresno. Their team time of 1:20:39 was 13th best overall. Only the top seven finishers at CIF finals advance to state.
Senior and three-time Orange Coast league champ Natasha Strickland finished third in her heat to lead Laguna. Her 17:33 was also the third fastest time overall on the 2.9 mile rain course, which is used when conditions make footing unsafe for competitors.
Freshman Janie Crawford (18:55, 16th) was followed closely by sophomore Eliza Romero (19:01, 18th), senior Marissa Merchant (19:11, 22nd) and freshman Carlee Ressler (19:28, 28th) to complete the scoring five. Sophomores Kayla Baskevitch (19:31, 29th) and Monica White (20:13, 38th) finished sixth and seventh for the Breakers.
Senior Jeff White’s 15:23 was good enough for 11th in his heat and 13th overall. He was followed by sophomore Veda Rebollar (16:11, 33rd), junior Jack Crawford (16:12, 35th), senior Tyler Nichols (16:23, 41st) and sophomore Casey Koprowski (16:30, 49th) to round out the scoring five. Junior Stone Riff (16:32, 52nd) and senior Timmy Williams (16:54, 57th) finished sixth and seventh for Laguna.