Deardorff captures title at Mt. SAC Invitational

Santa Barbara’s Briggs Deardorff turned on the speed and pulled away from the field to win his Division 2 race at the prestigious Mt. San Antonio College Cross Country Invitational on Saturday.

Deardorff ran the hilly 3-mile course in 15 minutes, 15 seconds, beating second-place Rex Woodbury of Catalina Foothills, Ariz. by 20 seconds. There were 131 runners in the race.

“He took the lead after the first mile and ran all by himself,” said Santa Barbara coach Olivia Perdices.

Deardorff’s time was the third-fastest out of five Division 2 races. The best time was 15:02 by Dylan Blankenbaker of Ramona followed by a 15:12 from Will Geiken of Los Gatos.

Nathaniel Taylor of the Dons finished 52nd in 17:22. Santa Barbara placed 13th as team in its event.

Dos Pueblos’ running star Sergey Sushchikh helped his team to an eighth-place finish in the Division 1-2 Sweepstakes category. Sushchikh, who had not lost a race this season, finished 13th competing against some of the best cross country runners in the state and in the west. His time of 14:56 was the sixth fastest among runners from the CIF Southern Section.

“We estimated that there were about 15 of the top 25 guys in the state in his race, including the state champions in the 1600 and 3200 meters,” DP coach Leslie Roth said. “He ran over 1 minute faster than his last year’s time on this same course. It was a great race that really challenged him, and definitely set the standard of what he will meet in post-season competition.”

Elias Gedyon of team champion Loyola won the elite race in 14:26.

The other Charger runners who scored were Bryan Fernandez (35th, 15:42), Max Davis (56th, 16:06), Sam Sarmiento (91st, 16:31) and Ben York (92nd, 16:32).

“Bryan’s time was faster than Sergey ran last year,” Roth said. “As you can see from the small differential between the times of our No. 2 through 5 guys, they are truly beginning to embody the concept of running in a pack and working together,”

DP (263 points) finished third among Division 2 teams competing in the Sweepstakes race. Loyola was first with 115 points and Camarillo second with 152

The Dos Pueblos girls placed fifth in their Division 2 race with 167 points. Claremont took top honors with 67.

Erin Campbell was the top finisher for the Chargers, coming in 22nd with a time of 20:11. Sarah Jamieson was next in 20:39 for 32nd place and the other finishers were Lara Schwalenberg (41st, 21:00), Camille Patterson (42nd, 21:00) and Miya McHugh (46th, 21:10).

Roth said the team was missing its Nos. 2 and 3 runners because of an injury and the ACT exams.

“While everyone ran a personal record for that course, the race of the day goes to Camille Patterson,” Roth said. “Camille has been our No. 1 JV runner and has stepped up during a few invites when the other varsity girls were absent. She earned her spot today by finishing in our No. 4 spot, a 100th of a second behind our No. 3 girl, Lara Schwalenberg. That is 58 seconds faster than she ran last year.

“To run with such confidence and competitiveness is super difficult at this point in the season when the team “ranks” are so well established. I’m really excited to see where she can go during the rest of the season.”

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