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New school records set by Laguna Beach at Woodbridge Invitational

The Woodbridge Invitational has long been considered a meet that cross-country runners come to for a chance to break their personal record.

Several local runners did more than make personal history on Saturday night, setting school marks in the process.

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Laguna Beach High’s Sebastian Fisher and Hannah Konkel established new school records in leading their teams’ efforts in the sweepstakes races on Saturday night at SilverLakes Sports Park in Norco.

Fisher completed the flat three-mile course in 14 minutes 38.8 seconds (30th). Ryan Smithers was right on his tail, crossing the finish line in 14:40.0. They spearheaded a 10th place (335 points) finish for the Breakers, who have begun the season as the top-ranked team in the CIF Southern Section Division 4 poll.

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“I think it’s relieving to have that good rating going into [the season],” Smithers remarked of the respect the Breakers are receiving after last year’s run to the CIF State championship meet. “We only lost one good senior, basically, on our top-seven squad. It doesn’t mean that we’re not working hard. It’s not like we have this solidified.

“Every day, we’re training hard. We’re going to make sure that we do well at state.”

Blake Hofmeister had previously held the boys’ record at Laguna Beach. He ran 14:45 at the Woodbridge Invitational in 2009, when the meet was still held at Woodbridge High.

Fisher set the new standard after running just one race last year (at the Clovis Invitational) due to injury.

“I think it’s crazy because we’ve heard a lot about that [2009] team and how good they were,” Fisher said of breaking the school record. “It’s weird to see all of our effort paying off, to have both of us [Smithers and I] go under [Hofmeister’s time], too.

Laguna Beach boys’ coach Scott Wittkop said that he has asked not to have his teams put in the sweepstakes and rated races in the past, but he feels that this year’s team has a chance to do something special. The Breakers brought back much of the team that finished sixth in the Division IV championship race at state last year.

Newport Harbor’s Alexis Garcia ran in the Doug Speck boys’ sweepstakes as an individual, edging out Fisher for the area’s top time at 14:38.6.

Huntington Beach’s Lars Mitchel also ran as an individual, finishing the race in 14:56.4.

Newbury Park’s Nico Young won the boys’ sweepstakes in 14:01.1. Temecula Great Oak claimed the team title with 85 points.

Konkel ran 17:31.8, narrowly beating the Laguna Beach girls’ record. Lindsay Buwalda originally ran the previous best time of 17:33 in 1996, doing so in a dual meet against Costa Mesa at Mason Park in Irvine. Natasha Strickland matched Buwalda’s time on the rain course at Mt. San Antonio College during the CIF Southern Section preliminaries in 2011.

“My team really helped me,” Konkel said. “They helped carry me through the race. I’m proud of us, in general, because we all raced really hard. I know that without my team and without my coaches, I couldn’t have done it.”

The Breakers’ girls placed 21st in the Bob Day sweepstakes race with 453 points.

Great Oak’s Tori Gaitan won the race in 16:06.1, leading her team to the title with 84 points.

Costa Mesa’s Diane Molina, a junior, ran in the first sweepstakes race of her career, taking 20 seconds off of her personal record with a time of 17:00.3. She found the Woodbridge Invitational course to be heavily crowded with a lot of turns.

“It was always crowded for me,” Molina said. “I couldn’t go around people because they would be pushing and shoving. On every single turn, I had an incident of somebody cutting me off or elbowing me.”

Molina added that she enjoyed the competitiveness of the race, and she is looking forward to running on another fast course at the Dana Hills Invitational next Saturday.

Newport Harbor and Ocean View ran in the boys’ rated race. Without Garcia in the lineup, Michael Davey (15:37) took the lead for the Sailors.

“I was confident that I would run fast, but this season is about consistently having a solid five,” Davey said. “Tonight, we had eight guys under 16:10, which is really motivating for the rest of the season. I was happy about my time, but I’m even more excited about how solid our team is.”

BOYS’ CROSS-COUNTRY

Woodbridge Invitational

At SilverLakes Sports Park

Three-mile course

Doug Speck Sweepstakes Race

Team Results

1. Great Oak 85; 2. Newbury Park 184; 3. Thousand Oaks 242; 4. West Ranch 243; 5. Eastwood (TX) 260; 6. Long Beach Poly 276; 7. SouthlkeCarrl 295; 8. Riverton (UT); 9. Livermore Granada 313; 10. Laguna Beach 335

Individuals

1. Young (Newbury Park) 14:01.1; 2. Ramos (Rubidoux) 14:03.4; 3. Mota (Stockdale) 14:05.4; 4. Scomparin (Dublin) 14:07.1; 5. Frankenfeld (Long Beach Poly) 14:07.6; 6. Nokes (Riverton/UT) 14:12.6; 7. Mendez (Monache) 14:16.5; 8. Abbes (Great Oak) 14:17.5; 9. Seidman (West Ranch) 14:18.5; 10. Bates (West Ranch) 14:21.4; 28. Garcia (Newport Harbor) 14:38.6; 30. Fisher (Laguna Beach) 14:38.8; 34. Smithers (Laguna Beach) 14:40.0; 60. Mitchel (Huntington Beach) 14:56.4; 89. Z. Falkowski (Laguna Beach) 15:08.9; 112. Bianchi (Laguna Beach) 15:20.3; 115. Nielson (Laguna Beach) 15:21.5; 180. Compton (Laguna Beach) 15:52.6

Rated Race

Team Results

1. Unregistered 42; 2. Maria Carrillo 76; 3. Capistrano Valley 128; 4. Brea Olina 168; 5. San Clemente 177; 6. Agoura 199; 7. Warren 199; 8. Homestead 213; 9. Rowland 227; 10. Oak Park 251; 12. Newport Harbor 336; 15. Ocean View 391

Individuals

1. Savely (Capistrano Valley) 14:43.2; 2. Lost Tags 14.44.3; 3. Rodriguez (Highland) 14:45.6; 4. Rubin (Sage Creek) 14:48.7; 5. Murray (Moorpark) 14:51.1; 6. Lost Tags 14:51.2; 7. Smail (Maria Carillo) 14:51.5; 8. Swinth (Maria Carrillo) 14:52.2; 9. Nienow (Westlake) 14:52.9; 10. Gaffikin (Brea Olinda) 14:54.7

GIRLS’ CROSS-COUNTRY

Woodbridge Invitational

At SilverLakes Sports Park

Three-mile course

Bob Day Sweepstakes Race

Team Results

1. Great Oak 84; 2. Desert Hills (UT) 145; 3. Livermore Granada 156; 4. Mission Viejo 221; 5. SouthlkeCrrl 224; 6. Xavier Prep (AZ) 224; 7. St. Francis 228; 8. Walnut 243; 9. West Ranch 274; 10. Palmer Ridge (CO) 276; 21. Laguna Beach 453

Individuals

1. Gaitan (Great Oak) 16:06.1; 2. Smith (Buchanan) 16:11.1; 3. Arriaga (Walnut) 16:11.5; 4. Shulze (Oak Park) 16:12.9; 5. Lowe (Buchanan) 16:14.7; 6. Schadler (Rio Rico/AZ) 16:14.8; 7. McCandless (Livermore Granada) 16:24.3; 8. Griffiths (Great Oak) 16:27.3; 9. Ramirez (Ayala) 16:29.9; 10. Goeson (Serrano) 16:36.0; 28. Molina (Costa Mesa) 17:00.3; 55. Konkel (Laguna Beach) 17:31.8; 92. Rose (Laguna Beach) 18:02.4; 121. M. Falkowski (Laguna Beach) 18:23.8; 132. Read (Laguna Beach) 18:35.2; 147. Ryan (Laguna Beach) 18:50.0; 152. Schaefgen (Laguna Beach) 19:00.6; 156. Dyrnaes (Laguna Beach) 19:26.5

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Rated Race

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Team Results

1. Vista Murrieta 53; 2. SouthlkeCarrl 151; 3. Great Oak 191; 4. Redondo Union 203; 5. Maria Carrillo 207; 6. Granada Hills 209; 7. Westlake 272; 8. Burbank 281; 9. Yucaipa 323; 10. La Canada 345

Individuals

1. Abrego (Granada Hills) 17:01.3; 2. Candaele (Vista Murrieta) 17:03.5; 3. Billman (Murrieta Valley) 17:07.6; 4. Schultz (Westlake) 17:15.3; 5. Armstrong (Maria Carrillo) 17:17.9; 6. Matarese (La Canada) 17:20.6; 7. Auther (La Canada) 17:24.6; 8. Pretlow (Vista Murrieta) 17:24.6; 9. Bourque (Vista Murrieta) 17:25.2; 10. Schriver (Palisades) 17:25.2

8:18 a.m.: This article was updated with reactions from local athletes from the Woodbridge Invitational and the results for the sweepstakes and rated races.

This article was originally published at 11:20 p.m. on Saturday.

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