Results: CIF Southern Section XC Prelims

The Redondo Union results & stats for the CIF Southern Section XC Prelims, held Saturday November 13th, are now posted in the Meet Results section on the right. Or, to go straight to the results sheet, click here

This time around, the Results & Stats sheet has a hypothetical combined race showing how the times and splits for each of the three top teams, Redondo, Saugus and Mira Costa, compare. I think you will find the resulting scores interesting and encouraging.

There is an additional split in the girls race results and in the hypothetical race. It was taken on the downhill side of Reservoir Hill right at the corner where Reservoir connects with the ramp-like hill that leads down to the Airstrip. This creates two new splits. The first shows the time it took each runner to go from the 2-mile mark, over Reservoir Hill to that left-turn corner. The second shows how long it took to finish the race and it is an indicator of each runner’s finishing speed and the effort they made that day. The usual split for the complete 3rd mile is still included.

The hypothetical combined race was compiled from the splits I took of all three heats, then sorted first by the heat time, then by the final split coming off Reservoir Hill, which should be an indicator of finishing ability, and serves as a way to break the three-way tie at 18:21.

You can read a very similar version of the meet summary below in the story posted on Redondo Beach Patch here It includes a number of pictures not on the site just yet.

Soon more pictures from the meet can be found on the Booster Club website in the Meet Photos section by clicking here and following the links to the pictures for the Bay League Finals.

For the full official meet results, posted on the ESPN Rise website, click here


Varsity Girls Qualifying Heat: Redondo Girls get their Game Back

The Redondo Union varsity girls cross country team rebounded nicely from their Bay League defeat a week prior, to dominate their qualifying heat at the CIF Southern Section Prelims meet on Saturday Nov. 13th on the rugged Mt. SAC XC course.

The lady Sea Hawks took off at the sound of the gun, and once past the sprint down the Airstip, moved into their customary position of 6 runners in pack formation, all of whom are out in front of the field, with seventh-girl Anique Villegas following close behind. There they remained for the two laps around the Valley Loop and through the one-mile mark.

Passing the mile mark, and heading up the winding Switchbacks section of the course, the Redondo six makes up most of the lead pack, being joined by runners from Royal, El Dorado, Mater Dei, and sixth-in-state ranked Ayala. At the top of the Switchbacks, the field has stretched out a little, but the Redondo team is still in control and maintaining contact with each other.

On Poop Out Hill, the second and most grueling of this course’s hills, Redondo’s pack and a few others move well ahead of the rest of the field of 85 runners, with barely a half dozen girls within a minute behind their position. But now even the Redondo girls are stringing out.

Coming through the two-mile mark, Royal’s Sophie Mateu has a healthy lead, followed Redondo’s Rachel Bush and Laura O’Neill, and two seconds later, teammate Cara Ulizio. Five seconds back, it’s Lyndsey Mull followed closely by Mater Dei’s Ashyn Rambo. Two more seconds back it’s Kelly Ryan, and 3 more seconds back it’s Kayla Ferron who has just moved ahead of Ayala’s first runner, Taylor Khan.

Reservoir Hill, the third and final hill, represents the last steep climb and presents the runners with the cumulative effects of having raced over one of the toughest XC courses in the country. The mental and physical fatigue and pain that have set in are now to be overcome by a will to win. But the lady Sea Hawks are here on this day to run just hard enough to place among the top four teams and make the qualifying cut-off, saving themselves for the real race, next week’s championships. Though running fast, they are well within their abilities. Still, winning is what they do, as is evident as they power up Reservoir Hill, and first Bush and then O’Neil over-take, permanently, Royal’s Mateu.

On the downhill side of Reservoir, Bush has built up a commanding lead, and O’Neil has put a good gap between her and Mateu. Mull catches teammate Ulizio right on the turn coming off the steep downhill of Reservoir onto the lesser slope that leads back to the Airstrip, and moves ahead. Six seconds back, Ryan makes the turn, with Ferron another four seconds back, being followed by El Dorado’s Corrine Cherne who has advanced significantly since Poop Out Hill. Ayala’s Khan is well back, only just having crested the hill.

Bush, now completely unchallenged, moves easily up the slight incline of the Airstrip, rounds the corner into the Gauntlet and cruises through the finish line to win the heat in 18:16. O’Neill maintains her tempo just enough to keep a comfortable margin ahead of Mateu and strides through in 2nd in 18:21. Royals’ Mateau is 3rd in 18:25. Mull takes 4th in 18:36.

Ferron, who made good use of the downhill coming off Reservoir Hill, quickly finds that there is one other girl moving even faster that her. Soon, locked in a battle with El Dorado’s Cherne, they head up the Airstip. Cherne has been passing runners steadily since starting up Reservoir, and now has her sights set on the Redondo girls who left her in the dust back on Poop Out Hill. Both her and Ferron are accelerating up the Airstrip and passing, a no doubt surprised, Ryan. The chase is on along the Gauntlet where they pass Ulizilo. Cherne prevails and takes 5th, barely making the top-six-finisher cutoff to qualify to move on to the championships as an individual. Ferron’s 6th, just two seconds back leads the closest thing to a Redondo pack left in the race into the finishing chute in 18:41, with Ulizio 7th in 18:42 and Ryan 8th in 18:48. Khan from 6th ranked Ayala is still ten seconds back. Seventh-Sea Hawk Villegas takes 15th in 19:59.

Although 71 seconds behind her closest teammate, upon closer examination, Villegas’s 15th place finish is far more impressive than it might seem at first. In a race consisting of the best teams from leagues all over southern California, Villegas’ 19:59 would make her the top runner on seven of the twelve teams in the race. She would be second-runner on one, third-runner on two, and fourth-runner on one. Only on Redondo’s team would she be fifth or lower. She also beat both girls running as individuals. They say that a team is only as good as it’s weakest member. With a “weakest team member” like Villegas, it’s no wonder the Sea Hawks are so dominate.

And dominant they are. Putting 6 girls in the top 8, 7 in the top 15, showing a 26 second gap between the first and fifth scoring runners, and only 32 seconds to the sixth, plus winning the race with 20 points to 2nd place Royal with 77, speaks loudly of the elite nature of this team.

However, this is not the only dominant team in California. This year CIF Southern Section has produced eight of the top ten ranked teams in the state in Division 2. Out of that group, Redondo is joined by two other high performing teams, perennial state champ Saugus, and perennial runner-up, Mira Costa. Those three are all well above the abilities of all the rest.

Running in separate heats on Saturday, both Saugus and Costa, like Redondo, easily won their races. All ran well within themselves because the real prize is the CIF Championships next week. Even though they were in separate races, it is difficult to resist comparing the teams to get some kind of preview of what might happen when they race for the title.

If the results from these three teams are merged into one hypothetical race, the scoring comes out with Redondo winning with 37 points, Saugus second with 38, and Mira Costa 3rd with 49. But it won’t be just these three teams next week. Sixteen teams and eight individuals have qualified. How the dynamics of all these top XC teams and individuals play out in the final scoring of the championship race is anyone’s guess. This will certainly be a great race to watch.

Varsity Boys Qualifying Heat: 5th out of 14 Aint Bad

The Redondo varsity boys XC team ran well, maybe not their best performance this season, but one that had all the indicators of a talented group of runners giving all they had in a tough race, on a tough course, against, among the 14 teams, the third and eighth ranked in the state for CIF Division 2. Their fifth pace finish was only one spot removed from qualifying for next week’s CIF Championships.

Making a good start down the Airstrip, they held their own for the two laps on the Valley Loop. Coming through the one-mile mark, Redondo’s Tyler Caracoza and Dezhan Bland were side-by-side clocking a 4:56 split. Four seconds later, three more Redondo runners came through together, Evan Malone-White, Patrick Borgerding and Garrett Klatte. About 10 seconds further back were Will Tait and Alex Guzman.

The Switchbacks served to stretch out the field, as Caracoza raced to the top. Coming off the long downhill through the National Guard Corridor, Malone-White, Borgerding and Klatte are still tightly bunched, and in good position.

Each hill continues to put more distance between the lead runners and those following. Poop Out Hill is no exception, so by the time Caracoza reaches the two-mile mark next to Ayala’s Kenny Tanner, there is a large gap in front of him, and a smaller, but noticeable gap behind him. The group of three, Evan Malone-White, Patrick Borgerding and Garrett Klatte are still together with teammate Bland just four seconds back. A half-minute back, freshman Tait is holding his own, and Guzman is another eight seconds back in a group of five runners.

Reservoir Hill has finally broken up the Redondo pack between Caracoza, who is well ahead, and Tait who is well behind them. Borgerding, right on the heels of Indio’s Brandon Chavez, makes it down first, followed by Malone-White just ahead of Heritage’s Zach Swanson, and then it’s Klatte who has just passed Westlake’s Ryan Chu. Next, it’s Bland charging the downhill and flying past Hart’s Billy Walker. Tait was all alone, but Guzman was in the middle of a pack of six that was beginning to stretch out and separate.

As the runners streamed down the Gauntlet and into the chute, finishing every couple seconds, Caracoza came in 14th in 16:00 flat, Borgerding took 24th in 16:20, Malone-White was 27th in 16:24, Klatte was 34th in 16:33, Bland was 42nd in 16:50, Tait was 47th in 16:56, and Guzman was 58th in 17:21. And 40 more runners were still out on the course.

Next up will be the CIF Finals, also at Mt. SAC, this coming Saturday November 20th. The varsity girls division 2 race is currently scheduled for 10:45 am, the last race of the day. Watch your email, and the website, for any changes. This is what we’ve been waiting all year for, the showdown between Saugus, Mira Costa and our own Sea Hawks. You just know it’s going to be a good one. Hope to see you all there.

Wear Red, be loud, go Sea Hawks!

Doug Boswell ~ XC Information Director ~ [email protected]

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