REGION — It wasn’t even close as the Sage Creek girls’ cross-country team lived up to its billing as one of the most dominant teams in county and the state.
The Bobcats ran through the competition at the CIF Division 4 meet Nov. 23 in Valley Center to take their second consecutive title and cement their status as the favorite to capture their second straight state title on Nov. 30.
Even more impressive was Sage Creek runners took the top seven spots (only five runners score and seven allowed to run in the varsity meet) to score the maximum in the sport with 15 points. In cross-country, the lowest team score wins. Valley Center High School placed second with 81 points.
“The girls did amazing,” Sage Creek coach Danny Kung said. “The goal was to get out closer to race pace that’ll they’ll be experiencing at state. Not only did they sharpen up, they worked together as a group to minimize everything they’ve been work on as a team.”
Leading the charge were the Wallace sisters, as senior Skyler Wallace blew away the field with a mark of 17 minutes, 32.4 seconds to win the individual title, while sophomore Stormy Wallace took second at 18:00.9.
Following the Wallace’s were seniors Lavanya Pandey (18:34.4) and Natalie Huestis (18:53.8), freshman Malia Leupold (18:55.3), Madeline Mack (19:04.5) and Katya Sumwalt (19:07.8).
As for the Sage Creek boys, the Bobcats also had a solid showing taking second with 75 points behind champ Crawford High School (57).
Sophomore Bryce Gilmore took second place with a time of 15:56.2, while senior Colin Schmitt was 12th (16:39.8) and senior Ben Nelson placed 16th (16:51.8).
“The boys have been a little banged up,” Kung said. “We knew it was going to be a battle between Crawford and us. I think they did as much as they could to get there.”
At Carlsbad High School the Lancers football team dropped a heartbreaker to Helix in the CIF San Diego Section Open championship, 28-21, also on Nov. 23.
After playing to a 0-0 after the first half, the Lancers took a 7-0 lead after an 80-yard touchdown pass from Aidan Sayin to Cole Wright. Helix, though, reeled off 28 straight points including a pair of interceptions returned for touchdowns.
Carlsbad High was able to slice the lead to 28-21 after a pair of rushing touchdowns in the fourth quarter, but Helix was able to secure the onside kick with 17 seconds left to win its third Open Division title.
Carlsbad finishes the season with a 10-2 record including winning the Avocado League with a 6-0 record.
The Carlsbad High girls cross-country team placed 14th in the CIF Division I meet in Valley Center with 418 points, while Canyon Crest Academy took the title with 46.
Freshman Sonya Black was the Lancers’ top finisher coming in 61st with a time of 20 minutes, 52.9 seconds, while junior Bella Nelson crossed in 21:33/2 to place 84th.
The Carlsbad High boys cross-country team finished 16th at the CIF Division I meet with 400 points. Torrey Pines won the title with 100 followed by San Marcos at 130.
Carlsbad High senior Samuel Woulfe was the Lancers’ top finisher coming in 25th at 16:19.5, while sophomore Owen Clines finished 57th at 16:48.5.
Earlier in the week, the Carlsbad High girls volleyball fell short of playing for the Division II state championship dropping its match against Ontario Christian in five sets. The Lancers finish the season with a 33-13 record.
Steve Puterski covers Carlsbad and Vista. For tips or story ideas, contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @StevePuterski.