Los Angeles Preps: Great Oak girls' cross-country

Great Oak, Saugus win girls' cross-country titles

November, 20, 2010

WALNUT--The conditions weren't ripe for blazing times, but they were just right for the Temecula Great Oak and Saugus girls' cross-country teams.

Great Oak captured the Division I title with its top five runners bunched just 36 seconds apart. The Wolfpack totaled 73 points and a team time of 1 hour 34 minutes 33 seconds on the 5,000-meter course at Mt. San Antonio College.

Due to the rains, the course moved from the dusty hillsides and laid out on flat, hard ground that took runners through portions of the parking lot and onto the athletic track inside the football stadium.

"It was definitely different," said Great Oak senior Jessica Hilton, who was her team's top finisher, placing fifth overall in 18:35.

"Our league finals were in the 90-degree weather, so it was a big change," said senior Shannon Emery, who was 15th overall in 18:50.

Even more impressive, the Wolfpack won the title without one of its top runners Anna Johnson, who is out for the rest of the season with a quadriceps injury.

Saugus, the four-time defending state champion, captured the Division II title with 29 points and a team time of 1:32.25. All five of its runners finished in the top 10 and were separated by just 34 seconds.

Stephanie Bulder was second overall in 18:09, followed by teammate Kaylin Mahoney in third (18:11).

Simi Valley freshman Sarah Baxter had the fastest girls' time of the meet, winning the Division I race in 17:40. Earlier this season, Baxter broke the freshman course record on the regular course.

Great Oak, Saugus and Baxter will compete next Saturday at the state championships in Fresno.

For a complete list of today's results, check here.

Inland Empire: Several cross-country teams will be off and running this weekend

October, 7, 2010
Inland Empire cross-country runners are gearing up for a big weekend.

Locally, the 10th annual Inland Empire Challenge is scheduled for Saturday at Glen Helen Regional Park in Devore. Among the entries is the Vista Murrieta girls’ team, ranked No. 5 in the Southern Section Division I coaches’ poll, and the Redlands girls’ squad, ranked No. 6 in the same division.

Erika Reddish of Vista Murrieta finished first last week at a Southwestern League cluster meet, though Temecula Great Oak, the top-ranked girls' team in Division I and considered one of the best in the nation, rested its top runners in preparation for this weekend’s Manhattan Cross-Country Invitational in New York.

Just how deep is Great Oak? The Wolfpack’s "B" team finished fifth at the prestigious Stanford Invitational last month, second at last week’s cluster meet and is expected to challenge Vista Murrieta this weekend.

Some of the top boys’ cross-country teams in the I.E. are headed north to compete at the Clovis Invitational on Saturday at Woodward Park in Fresno. The Corona boys’ team, ranked No. 8 in Division I, is scheduled to compete on the state championship course, as well as No. 10 Riverside King.

Riverside Woodcrest Christian, the five-time Division V defending state champion, is also entered in the Clovis Invitational.

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