The Katella boys' cross-country team gave a glimpse at why it's the top-ranked team in the county Saturday at the Dana Hills Invitational.
The Knights, ranked No. 1 in the sportswriters poll since the season began, easily ran away with the boys' Division I senior competition, scoring 46 points to outrun second-place Chula Vista (128).
The Knights' strength was their depth, placing four runners among the top 10. Edgar Benitez finished second in 15 minutes 29 seconds, followed by Juan Vanegas (seventh, 15:50), Erick Miramontes (ninth, 15:53) and George Pinto (10th, 15:55).
"This is the first time we've been in a race where we had some teams where we had to push," Katella Coach Mike Cochrane, whose team easily won the Bronco Invitational on Sept. 9.
The fastest individual time from a county athlete was by Santa Margarita's Michael Murray, who won the Division II junior race in 15:07. Tustin's Daniel Smith finished second in 15:36.
Martin Brix of University won the Division II sophomore race in 15:14, beating Mission Viejo's Mark Gleason (15:31) and Tustin's C.J. Marciales (15:46).
Irvine's Jessica Corbin won a three-way battle with Fountain Valley senior Angie Winkler and Huntington Beach junior Jennifer Spahr in the girls' Division I junior/senior race.
Corbin, a senior, pulled away from the field in the second mile, eventually posting the day's fastest time (17:27). Winkler finished in 17:33 and Spahr 17:54.
University freshman Allyson Marquand won the girls' Division II freshman race by 1 minute 24 seconds, finishing in 17:29, the second-fastest time of the day by a county girl.