CdM girls enjoy top race

Sea Kings finish sixth in race, one spot ahead of new rival, Woodbridge. Powers takes eighth place.

October 16, 2010|By Matt Szabo,
(Don Leach / Daily…)

ORANGE — The Corona del Mar High girls' cross country team has an eye on Woodbridge nowadays.

CdM assistant coach Tri Nguyen also had an arm dedicated to the Warriors. Written in masking tape on his arm were the individual results of each CdM and Woodbridge runner, side by side.

The stakes weren't quite as high in the sweepstakes race at the Orange County Championships as they will be later in the season, but the Sea Kings finished above their new Pacific Coast League rivals Saturday at Irvine Regional Park.

CdM, behind an eighth-place individual finish by junior Ashlee Powers, finished sixth in that sweepstakes race on a cool and damp morning. That was one spot above the Warriors, who had edged the Sea Kings by four points in a league cluster meet last week. Woodbridge and CdM are ranked No. 1 and 3, respectively, in CIF Southern Section Division III, as well as No. 2 and 4 in the state by DyeStatCal.


Powers finished in 17 minutes, 38 seconds, a virtual tie with Woodbridge's Molly Babcock, who placed seventh. Junior Kristen Rivera was 25th in 18:10 in the three-mile race won by Tesoro. CdM freshman Ellen Naruse came through with a personal-best time of 18:13 to finish 28th.

CdM was deep, with sophomore Shelby Perez (18:41, 51st) and junior Megan Zwerling (18:42, 53rd) also racing well. Coach Bill Sumner pointed out that Zwerling, CdM's fifth finisher, finished 41 spots ahead of Woodbridge's fifth finisher.

"Today was a good day for the girls," Sumner said. "You get to a meet like CIF prelims, it turns out to be a pretty close meet. You get to a meet like state championships, it'll probably lean in our favor a little bit with that No. 5 runner. That's the thing."

The Sea Kings moved up a spot from seventh in the sweepstakes race at OC Championships the last two years. Those years turned out OK, with CdM winning the Division III state title each time.

Powers was about 15th midway through the race Saturday, but she said she gained ground on the asphalt hill near the end.

"I don't think there was a minute where I was really able to relax," Powers said. "I passed like probably a good six people on that hill. There were a lot of people who were just jogging up the hill. You wouldn't think the top people would be doing that."

Costa Mesa resident Ava Kent, a senior for Orange Lutheran, finished 10th in the sweepstakes race in 17:44.

The Newport Harbor girls finished eighth in the Division II race, led by sophomore Paige Tennison in 13th in 18:45.

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