Maria Carrillo swept the team titles, at the North Bay League cross country championships, taking all divisions at Spring Lake on Friday.
The most exciting race of the day took place in the Varsity boys final. Casa Grande had beaten Carrillo by a single point in there earlier league match, with Casa junior Matt Salazar leading the way at that meet as he has done all year against the other Redwood Empire runners.
Today as expected Salazar was in the early lead but in the first mile began experiencing stomach cramps.
“I had had some good workouts leading up to this race.” said Salazar, “but at that point I was just trying to keep up with the others.”
Carrillo senior Zac West was having a great run himself taking the lead from Salazar and holding that for most of the rest of the race.
Casa senior Nicholas Rauch was running back just behind the leaders as he normally does.
“When I caught up to Salazar I could hear how off his breathing was so I only hesitated for a moment and then went by him.” said Rauch. “At two miles I was feeling really good and took off and caught West with half a mile to go, at this point I thought hey I can win this race.”
Rauch’s superior speed took him to a five second victory over West as both ran their fastest times ever at 15:21 and 15:26 respectfully.
Rauch time is the fastest ever for a Casa runner at Spring Lake and makes him Casa’s first league champion since Mike Becker won the Sonoma County title back in 2004.
Salazar finished 3rd in 15:36 just ahead of Carrillo junior Jordan Scobey 15:38.
Santa Rosa sophomore Daniel Pride was next (15:41) followed by Casa’s Zachary Nussdorfer (15:44). Santa Rosa’s Aden Pierce (16:12), Montgomery’s Stuart Lovelace (16:17) and Santa Rosa’s Luca Mazzanti (16:27) crossed the line next.
At this point Casa had the team lead.
But by the time both teams top five had finished the score was tied at 40 points each. In cross country, the team champion is then decided by each school’s sixth runner which was won by Carrillo’s Ryan Nguyen in 14th, giving the Puma’s the narrowest of win’s and this year’s pennant.
This was Carrillo’s third straight pennant and have now won nine of the last twelve.
Completing the top twelve runners were Carrillo’s David Eik (16:31) and Jacob Wright (16:35), followed by Casa’s Adam Harwood (16:36).
The varsity girls’ race was quite different as Santa Rosa junior Delaney White won her third straight title. No girl has yet to win four NBL titles.
“White took the lead and just ran with confidence.” said Panther coach Doug Courtemarche. “She had to pretty much run all by herself hitting her timed marks each mile just as planned.”
Carrillo dominated the team race scoring 29 points, just two shy of bettering all the other seven teams combined.
This was Carrillo’s twelfth straight pennant.
The Puma’s were lead by senior Shaz Breedlove in second at 18:47.
Casa junior Adria Barich (18:54), Carrillo senior Samantha Perry (19:04) and Casa junior Ileana Moon (19:15) took the next three spots.
Five of the next seven places went to the remaining Puma runners Cecilia Avelar (19:37), Allie Ahern (19:41), Shannon Palladino (19:51), Sydnie Rivas (19:51) and Carolina Avelar (20:01).
Casa’s Emma Moon (19:43) and Santa Rosa’s Marie Doyle (19:47) split up the Puma runners.
In the JV races Carrillo showed just how much depth they have taking the top 11 places in the boys’ race and top 9 in the girls.
Carrillo coach Greg Fogg said “I was extra proud of my boys taking this with our sixth man. We (Casa) keep pushing each other as we will both be chasing Granada for the NCS II title coming up. I want to give West huge credit on his PR today.”