The boys race at Wednesday’s Channel League Cross Country Meet was top-heavy with Dos Pueblos Chargers, as the top-ranked team in the Southern Section’s Division 2 dominated the race by claiming six of the top seven positions on the way to victory.
In the girls race, Dos Pueblos’ Addi Zerrenner won in a new course record, breaking her own record from last year with a time of 17:24. The Chargers girls finished second to Ventura in the team competition.
Bryan Fernandez easily won the boys race in a scorching time of 14 minutes and 21 seconds, lowering his time by 56 seconds from last year.
The senior runner continued a strong early season, having already won big races at the Seaside Invitational and the Woodbridge Invitational. But the Channel League meet served a higher purpose for Fernandez and his teammates.
“That’s our goal, even more than whatever we do in CIF, we wanted to win league this year,” Fernandez said. “Because the three seniors, we’ve had really good teams in those three years but never won league.”
“So that’s a big goal. We took a first step today. We can close it out in three weeks in Ventura.”
Fernandez created separation with Ventura’s Kyle Medina soon after the first mile marker. By the start of the second mile, Fernandez was ahead 17 seconds on his way to a 32-second win.
After Medina, a host of Chargers followed.
Max Davis was third, then Andrew McGuan, Ben York, Cole Smith and John Greening. York recorded a personal best in the race with a time 15:39.
“To do that as a senior, your last time ever running this race, it just, it means the world to me,” York said. “I was fourth on the team, Cole Smith was 6th on the team, and he was seven seconds behind me. So we had that whole pack going for the entire way. We’ve been trying to figure that out for the last two years and we finally figured it out today.”
As a team, Dos Pueblos scored a terriffic 19 points. San Marcos was next at 62, edging Ventura at 66. Ventura won last year with 26 points.
San Marcos’ Ryan Sorenson broke the DP lineup by finishing 8th while teammates Eric Salas and Walker Odell were close behind in 11th and 12th place. The five Royals scorers all recorded a top-16 finish.
James Scheuermann was Santa Barbara High’s top runner in 14th. Bradley Apodaca was 24th. Bella Demachkie was the Dons’ top female, lowering her time by two minutes from the year before on the DP course and putting her in 13th place overall.
Ventura won the girls team event, led by second-place finisher Hannah Kirkegaard. Dos Pueblos’ Elaine McClure came in third but the Cougars gained the edge by occupying five of the top-10 spots overall.
Ventura scored 30 points, Dos Pueblos 49 and San Marcos 70.
“I felt great just coming off the line,” Zerrenner said about her winning race. “I didn’t really have a race plan. It was just to run.”
San Marcos’ top runner was Juliana Logan in 9th, followed by Brooke Donahue (11th) and Jewel Fisher (12th).