It was the same outcome for the West Ranch boys cross country team, but the Wildcats had to work a little harder for the desired result this time around. West Ranch swept the top three and placed four runners in the top five spots for a 24-63 victory Thursday over Saugus in the second Foothill League meet at Central Park.
MORE cross country: West Ranch and Saugus keeping pace in pollsWest Ranch’s Preston Pope was the individual winner, as he covered the 3-mile course in 15 minutes, 35.69 seconds, followed by teammates Jack Arnold (15:37.75) and Justin Sherfey (15:46.66). Isaiah Seidman finished fifth in 15:58.34 for the Wildcats, who have four of the six fastest team times in course history. “It was a bit more of a strategic race,” Arnold said. “We decided not take it out as hard. We let a few guys take it out for us. We just trailed along, waited and kicked at the end and caught them all.” Britain Reynolds finished fourth in 15:48.25 to lead Valencia to a third-place finish with 74 points. “Individually, I wished I had gotten to the third spot,” Reynolds said. “Top three is all you need to get to (Southern Section prelims) so I’m really happy with the team overall.” Saugus’ Boon Andrews finished sixth (16:00) and Juan Enciso was ninth (16:06.62), with Canyon’s Ethan Danforth in seventh (16:03.91), Golden Valley’s Jaime Calderon in eighth (16:05.02) and Valencia’s Sebastian Holding (16:07.43) rounding out the top 10. Saugus’ Mariah Castillo clocked the second-fastest girls time in course history as she was again the individual winner in 17:27.66. The junior’s previous best time was 17:50.31. Kaylee Thompson was second at 17:45.06 as the Centurions secured a 35-63 victory over West Ranch. “This race was a lot faster,” Thompson said. “We worked together which was the goal. We went out hard like we were supposed to.” Castillo’s time trailed only Samantha Ortega’s mark of 17:13.82 set in 2014. “We stayed fast and relaxed,” Castillo said. “We stuck to the plan we talked about.” Freshman Kaela Berretta was ninth (19:05.72), Jacqueline Cascione finished 10th (19:06.93) and Jakee Victoria rounded out the five scoring runners for Saugus, as she finished 13th (19:21.38). Sophia Hoelzel clocked 18:23.34 to finish fourth for West Ranch, which edged Hart 63-64 for second place. “This race went well for everybody and we placed second again which was our goal,” Hoelzel said. “I personally improved and so did the team which shows our training is working.” Valencia freshman Hailey Kirsch finished in third place for the second time as she clocked 18:00.73. “This race was a little easier because I wasn’t nervous as much,” Kirsch said. “This time around I knew the course and I knew when to kick.” Anely Avila and Lucy Yoshioka led Hart as they placed fifth (18:29.34) and seventh (19:00.25) respectively. Valencia’s Kristen Walker was sixth at 18:54.44 and West Ranch’s Shelbi Schauble was also in the top 10 as she finished eighth (19:04.53).