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Tennison wins sweepstakes again

Cross Country

Newport Harbor senior takes first in Orange County Championships again at Irvine Regional Park Saturday.

October 13, 2012|By Bruce Bourquin
  • Members of the Corona del Mar High cross country team compete during the Orange County Championships' girls' varsity Division 2 race at Irvine Regional Park on Saturday.
Members of the Corona del Mar High cross country team compete… (KEVIN CHANG, Daily…)

ORANGE — Not even a wheat-like substance in a Starbucks Frappuccino could really slow down Newport Harbor High senior cross country runner Paige Tennison, on Saturday at Irvine Regional Park.

Running in a very businesslike manner, in the Orange County Championships, Tennison showed why she is among the elite three-milers in Orange County with her second straight individual sweepstakes title. Finishing in 16 minutes, 56 seconds in the Division 1 sweepstakes race, Tennison is starting to finish her last year wearing a Sailors uniform in stride.

"I missed five days of training last week [Oct. 1-6] because I'm allergic to wheat," Tennison said. "It was from a Frappuccino at Starbucks, of all things."

Bethan Knights of Northwood was second in 17:06.

Also medaling as one of the top 40 runners was Erin Barth (30th, 18:21), as Newport Harbor finished 14th out of 15 teams in Division 1. The tree-lined course featured 330 feet of grass, 330 feet of dirt and the rest hard blacktop pavement, with two decent-sized upward hills to climb in between.

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"I just wanted to go and win," Tennison said. "This is my favorite course, we get a hill and we get it over with right away."

Tennison, who declined to reveal the universities recruiting her, is more confident heading into the CIF State Division 2 Championships, set for Nov. 24 at Woodward Park in Fresno.

"I'd really like to win the state title," Tennison said. "I was really nervous last year. I have a lot less nervousness now, where I feel I've got the hang of this."

Another strong showing was the Corona del Mar girls' team, finishing sixth with 209 points. In cross country, like golf, the lower-scoring teams finish ahead of each other.

Coming in first for the Sea Kings was freshman Lilly Schmidt, 25th (18:59), followed by usual top runner Kirsten Hansen (29th, 19:05), Elin Wolker (36th, 19:13), Darcie Marshall (50th, 19:33) and Shelby Perez (70th, 19:56).

Hannah Crane, who has consistently been CdM's second or third-fastest runner this season, did not score due to a shin injury, after she was accidentally kicked by another runner.

"We took a little beating on the girls' side," Corona del Mar Coach Bill Sumner said. "That was a heartache for us."

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