RESULTS AT BOTTOM OF PAGE
Mats Cap Boys' Undefeated Streak at 15 Years; Cougars Claim 5 of 6 League Titles
While the Campolindo varsity boys did not go down without a fight, they were finally beaten at Saturday's Diablo Athletic League championships, ending a 15-year perfect run. Fittingly, the Cougars were finally bested by their cross-town rivals from Miramonte, who had come within the narrowest of margins to such an outcome just 2 weeks earlier at the final center meet of the league season.
The streak goes down as the longest in league history for any sport.
The final race of the unseasonably-warm afternoon at Hidden Valley Park began with a cautious opening for the individual contenders. It was only at the mile mark that a pack of the favorites began to break away. Yet, through that 1st mile, the Cougar's back-end scorers remained buried deep in the field. Only Alex Thomasson (24), Cody De La Cruz (26), and Drew Shogan (27) were in contact with Miramonte's scoring 5.
The 2nd-half of the race saw Clark Gregory (27), Cale Anderson (24), and Siddharth Iyer (25) pick up vital points while the early effort to shadow Miramonte's leaders began to take its toll on Shogan. Remarkably, as the field reached the base of Finale Hill, the Cougars had pulled themselves back into contention for the team title.
However, their fate was sealed in the final stretch as the Matadors managed to stay, literally, a step ahead at the 2-3-4-5 scoring positions. That, along with a runner-up finish from the Miramonte frontrunner, put the meet victory just out of reach.
Nevertheless, the Cougars put forth an effort worthy of the moment, including multiple course PRs not the least of which was a 2-minute and 29-second improvement for Anderson.
Finishing ahead of an inspired College Park squad allowed Campolindo to still claim a share of the overall 2023 league crown by virtue of their 1st-place-finish in the regular season.
Leading up to the historic varsity boys' clash, the Campolindo harriers were as dominant as ever, posting gaudy wins over the rest of the league in each division, beginning with a 54-point margin over the runner-up Knights of Las Lomas for the frosh soph girls.
Emily Koehler (26), Nora Lawrence (27), and Tori Gilbert (26) swept the top-3 finishing places to lead the way. With teammates Kaitlyn Kinsey (27), Libby Wong (26), and Keira De Los Santos (27) also among the top 10, the young squad scored a miniscule 19 points.
Among the biggest improvements for the frosh soph girls were life-time bests from Madeline Sheng-Williams (27), Alina Tozlovan (27), and Enya Zheng (27). All 3 freshmen lowered their course times by over a minute.
The performance was just the beginning as the frosh soph boys enjoyed their own steam rolling of the competition. Gavin Gunn (27) and Nikola Van Delft (27) were 1st to the finish, ahead of Ygnacio Valley's sophomore Siad Nait Challal. 7 of the next 10 finishers were from Campolindo, including Taiyo Chiba (27), Brody Hall (27), Aria Falsafi (27), and Anton Klisura (27), in 4th through 7th place, respectively.
Of the top 9 performers in the race, 7 were Cougar freshmen. Calculation of the final scores included the removal of finishers from incomplete teams, thus earning Campolindo a perfect 15, 81 points ahead of the next best squad.
The junior varsity teams were nearly as successful. Makena Weberski (24) claimed the individual crown, driving a train of blue and white clad runners to an another junior varsity girls' title. Fellow senior Lena Espiritu (24) dropped her 2-mile life-time best to 14:10 for 2nd place.
Tyler Ngo (24) and Benoit Pelchat (25) gapped the rest of the junior varsity boys' field by nearly 20 seconds by the time they crossed the finish line to help their squad stay ahead of Northgate by 42 points. The biggest improvement of the day also came out of the junior varsity division as Camden Smith (27) cracked the 17-minute mark for the 1st time. His previous course best was 19:27.
In the penultimate competition of the afternoon, the top ranked varsity girls placed all 5 of their scorers ahead of every other team's #3 finisher. Daisy Penney (24) was a standout for the squad with a 14-second personal best on the 3-mile course.
In all, the Cougars earned 29 of the 68 All-League individual honors in addition to their 5 team titles.
Miramonte 54, Campolindo 62, College Park 69, Clayton Valley 104, Northgate 104, Las Lomas 121, Acalanes 176, Alhambra 242, Benicia 269, 10 Concord 299
Campolindo 15, Northgate 96, College Park 97, Clayton Valley 105, Miramonte 105, Alhambra 108, Berean Christian 189, Las Lomas 236, Benicia 276, Concord 303, Acalanes 311
Campolindo 22, Northgate 64, Miramonte 68, Las Lomas 111, College Park 134, Acalanes 144, Clayton Valley 210, Benicia 225
Campolindo 28, Acalanes 57, Las Lomas 68, Northgate 84, Clayton Valley 150, Miramonte 165, College Park 165
Campolindo 19, Las Lomas 73, Miramonte 86, Alhambra 92, Northgate 95
Campolindo 21, Las Lomas 62, Northgate 71, Miramonte 119, Acalanes 122, Clayton Valley 131, College Park 199