RESULTS AT BOTTOM OF PAGE
Both Squads Land Podium Spots at CIF Championships; Buckley Finishes 8th
The varsity boys' and girls' cross country squads put a tumultuous week of canceled practices and races behind them in a big way at Saturday's CIF State Championships. Neither team was picked in the pre-meet rankings to place on the podium, yet inside the tent is where they each ended up after miraculous efforts on the Woodward Park 5k course.
With 3 runners under the 16-minute mark, the varsity boys outran section rival Maria Carrillo for the 2nd time in 5 days, and nearly pulled off the upset of the year as they closed within 11 points of highly touted Ridgeview to finish 2nd in the division 3 race.
Edward Buckley (19) improved over his 2017 state meet performance to finish 8th individually in 15:38, the 5th best time ever run by a Campolindo athlete in the championships. Teammate Dylan Gunn (21), in just his 4th race of the season after returning from injury, nearly cracked the top-10 himself, crossing the line in 15:49 to claim 11th place.
Cayden Hein (20) maintained his consistency, providing the Cougars with the best #3 scorer in the field by finishing 16th in 15:59.
Dylan Cronin (20) and Cameron Iniguez-Reyes (19) completed the scoring in 43rd and 45th place, respectively.
Scores at the mile and 2-mile marks showed the Cougars making up significant ground on the leaders in the later stages of the race. While Ridgeview managed to hold on for the win, the Campolindo team edged out defending champion West Torrance to earn the runner-up position on the podium.
The boys' effort equals the 2nd-place state meet finish by the legendary Campolindo squad of 2008. It also pushes the Cougar's state-record streak of top-10 state meet finishes to 17.
The dust had hardly settled on the boys' accomplishments when the girls toed the line, and while the boys had enjoyed the opportunity of competing at the North Coast Section meet the preceding Tuesday, the girls had not seen racing action since the league championships on November 3; The NCS commissioner had called off the girls' race at Hayward High School due to poor air quality, and thus, the team had been advanced to the state meet by committee vote.
Pre-meet prognosticators generously listed Campolindo as the 5th ranked team in the state for division 3; yet, the Cougars had struggled all season to put together a complete team performance. There were plenty of reasons to doubt their chances.
When the race approached the mile mark however, it was obvious the squad had put those doubts aside. Paloma Hancock (20) and Alicia Hober (20) were right where they were expected to be, just outside the top 20. Not expected was that they were joined by Sophie Webster (21), who had finished over a minute behind the front-running duo when last they raced.
The precocious rookie sophomore had thrown the Cougars into contention. At the mile mark the girls' squad was in 3rd place, just 5 points behind Vista Del Lago, and a shocking 60 points ahead of the next best team.
More shocking may have been the moment just after the 2-mile mark when Webster moved to the front of the Campolindo pack of 3 and began towing her teammates passed competitors.
Meanwhile, after settling in the middle mile, freshman Sarah Berten (22) and junior Ellie Guthrie (20) managed to pick off a handful of points to keep their squad clear of the rest of the podium challengers as they closed on the finish line.
Hancock ultimately overtook Webster down the finishing straight to earn the low stick for her squad in 17th place. Webster finished close behind in 20th while Hober set her own course record to finish in 24th. Guthrie completed the scoring with a 19:59 clocking. Moments later the announcer confirmed that the Cougars had captured 3rd place.
It is the 13th appearance on the state championship podium for the Campolindo girls' team, 2nd most in meet history.
Both teams making the state meet podium has occured prevoulsy only once in school history, in 2003, when the girls' squad finished 2nd and the boys' squad finished 3rd.
Ridgeview 83, Campolindo 94, West Torrance 106, Indio 166, Maria Carrillo 194, Palos Verdes 194, Chico 233, Brea Olinda 239, Esperanza 258, Agoura 289, El Capitan 298, Moorpark 301, Redwood 314, Nevada Union 355, Corcoran 358, Merced 367, Las Lomas 399, Cathedral Catholic 399, Greenfield 427, Vista Del Lago 431, University City 506, West Hills 540, Sacred Heart Cathedral 616, Canoga Park 693
Vista Del Lago 125, Palos Verdes 133, Campolindo 167, Laguna Hills 217, Maria Carrillo 241, Cathedral Catholic 254, Alameda 259, Foothill 263, Moorpark 285, South Torrance 287, Santa Margarita 303, University City 309, Del Oro 313, St. Ignatius 316, West Torrence 323, El Capitan 331, Redwood 364, Carondelet 380, Yorba Linda 417, Nevada Union 459, Mills 495, Morro Bay 528, Sacred Heart Cathedral 563, Wasco 653, Canoga Park 739