Deardorff gives Sushchikh a scare

Dos Pueblos’ Sergey Sushchikh edged Santa Barbara’s Briggs Deardorff by the slimmest of margins Friday, becoming the county’s cross country champion at Lompoc’s River Park course. Each posted times of 15 minutes and 35 seconds, with Sushchikh taking it by a heartbeat.

“They were pretty much shoulder-to-shoulder the whole time,” said Dons head coach Olivia Perdices, impressed because Deardorff shaved off  20 seconds from his previous best time and because hadn’t been close to Sushchikh in the Channel League’s first two meets.

The Dos Pueblos girls team showed heart, winning a third straight county championship with several key performances making up for a hobbled Kelly Kosmo, who endured pain to finish in 39th, nowhere near her normal result.

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Cate’s Mackenzie Walsh tracked down 3rd place overall in the girls race. Her time of 19:07 was the fastest time ever recorded by a Cate runner on the River Park course. Teammate Denali Tietjen, who came in 15th, helped the Rams to a sixth-place team result.

DP’s Erin Campbell followed Walsh in fourth and Lauren Guthrie (6th) and Sophie Pollack (10th) recorded top-10 finishes for the Chargers.

The Cabrillo boys won the team title.

Dos Pueblos freshman Bryan Fernandez enjoyed a strong race, coming in third behind the leaders. San Marcos’ Evan Bradford was fourth.

Brianna Lopez was the Dons’ top girls finisher and broke 20 minutes for the first time, posting a personal best at 19:46. Nolan Walker broke the 17-minute barrier for the first time on the Dons’ boys side, clocking in at 16:51.

Laguna Blanca’s Parker Lilly was fifth best on the boys side with a time of 15:54 and Owls freshman JV runner Marla Bonser would have placed ninth overall in the girls varsity race. Instead, Bonser won the JV race by breaking 20 minutes at 19:54.

“She’s a hard-working, dedicated girl,” said Owls coach Miguel Galindo, who’s looking forward to seeing her develop as she continues to learn the sport.

San Marcos’ Katelyn Rheinschild was the Royals’ top female, coming in 11th at 20:09, and was followed closely by teammate Jenny Haden.

Bishop Diego’s Christie Delgadillo, winner of the season’s first Frontier League meet, placed 23rd for the Cardinals.

The Channel League Championships are Thursday in Ventura for San Marcos, Dos Pueblos and Santa Barbara. Cate and Laguna Blanca head to Dunn for the Condor League Championships on Wednesday.

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