Rogan supports local X-Country with Elings Terrain victory

San Marcos Cross Country Team - Elings Terrain Festival

San Marcos’ cross country team earned the team trophy for getting the most sponsored runners to the event at Elings Park. (Presidio Sports Photos)

Sand, switchbacks, and sunshine were par for the course at Saturday’s Elings Terrain Festival, a new fundraising event for local high school cross country programs held at Elings Park in Santa Barbara.

There was a 5k run, won by Jack Rogan in 19 minutes and 11 seconds, that covered much of the hilly park. There was also a 3k run that missed the sand portion of the course but still encountered the switchbacks.

Jack Rogan - Elings Terrain Festival

Jack Rogan, a Westmont cross country athlete, claimed first place in the 5k on Saturday.

“A lot of it is single track, hard track, but some of it is like sand dunes. It’s brutal,” Rogan said. “I love trail running so it was a fun course. It’s just hard?to go fast on it.”

Rogan edged San Marcos alum Alex Heuchert by nine seconds.

“Alex was catching me on every single downhill, so I had to?really book it,” Rogan said.

Rounding out the top five was Ben Ghitterman (20:09), Joshua McGregor (20:13) and Gustavo Bello (21:01).

Monica DeVreese was the fastest female on the 5k course with a time of 24:14. Mark Fennell posted the best pace of anyone over 50 years old at 22:28.

Joseph Pearlman, an 11-year-old who goes to?Coastline Christian Academy in Goleta, won the 3k race.

The benefit was organized by Paul Bradford, a parent of three, to help support the cross country programs at San Marcos, Santa Barbara and Dos Pueblos.

The Royals and Chargers both sent teams to CIF Southern Section Finals and the CIF State Meet in Fresno this year. With the great success has come added travel costs along with other needs to stay competitive.

Bradford made it easy for the high school coaches, who just finished a long fall season.

“He just made it really accessible for all of us,” said Chargers head coach Leslie Roth. “I’m really, really impressed with his race-director?organizational skills.”

The high school student-athletes either ran the course or volunteered as event staff.

“This is a great experience for them because they know that?money doesn’t just fall from the sky. That they have to participate in things in order to make things happen for the?team,” Roth said.

Elings Park Cross Country Course

A 5k competitor runs along the ridgeline while others climb some switchbacks.

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