Sushchikh crushes course record, Royal girls move on

Dos Pueblos senior Sergey Sushchikh continued his dominant season at the Channel League Cross Country Championships in Ventura on Thursday, detonating the course record en route to the individual boys title. Sushchikh finished in 14:31, which is 26 seconds better than the previous record of 14:57. Santa Barbara High’s Briggs Deardorff finished second to Sushchikh in 15:05.

The rest of the Charger boys, who defeated Ventura to win the meet but finished second on the season, were in the top 15 individually. Bryan Fernandez (4th place, 15:23) and Max Davis (6th, 16:35) earned all-league honors. Following them were Alfred Scott (8th, 15:35), Sam Sarmineto (9th, 15:38), Ben York (14th, 16:03), and Jacob Bartholomew (15th, 16:05). Santa Barbara High’s James Sheuermann (16:09) and Nolan Walker (16:23) both turned in personal-best times.

San Marcos’ boys team came in fifth place, but five of the seven Royals ran personal bests. Helek Rutten led the way at 16:21, good enough for 21st place. Following him were Philip David (25th, 16:28), Jake Elliott (26th, 16:29), Isaac Wright (27th, 16:30), Parker Funk (29th, 16:44), Ryan Sorenson (16:56, 31st), Victor Sanchez (16:57, 32nd).

The girls standings were incredibly close, and it came down to Thursday’s results to see who would move on to CIF. Despite winning the last league meet, the Chargers ended up in fourth.

“Never in my eight years have I witnessed a league finals where the league championship was truly dependent on the winner of the meet, and despite our personal records and improvements in times it wasn’t enough,” said coach Leslie Roth. “We are obviously crushed at the sudden finish to our season, but realize that there is in fact a bigger lesson to be learned here: sometimes you have to be happy it all happened, instead of just sad that it is over.”

Ventura won the title while Buena took second and San Marcos’ young team slid into third place.

“We knew we didn’t have anyone who was going to win the race, but the girls have learned to run in a pack and it paid off today,” said Royals coach Lawrence Stehmeier. “We’re very excited to be able to continue the season.”

The top five Royal girls all placed in the top 15 — Kaitlyn Kuehn (7th, 18:59), Annie Thwing (11th, 19:23), Rocio Pacheco (12th, 19:24)Katelyn Rheinschild (13th, 19:25) and Jewel Fisher (14th, 19:26).

Leading the way for the DP girls was Erin Campbell, who earned all-league honors with a personal best of 18:48 (4th place), followed by Sarah Jamieson (16th, 19:37), Sophie Pollack (18th. 19:42), Caylee Daniel (25th, 20:26), and Lara Schwalenberg (26th, 20:33). Santa Barbara High was led by Kelley Drechsler’s 19:35, which earned her 17th place, and Mia Owens’ personal-best time of 20:57.

Deardorff, the DP boys and the San Marcos girls will all be at Mt. SAC for the CIF Prelims a week from Saturday.

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