Shaw medals, Breakers win in girls' golf

The Laguna Beach High girls' golf team recorded its initial win of the 2007 season by defeating Tesoro, 251-260, in a nonleague match at San Clemente Municipal Golf Course.

Junior Karina Shaw shot 43 to earn the match's medalist honor.

The Breakers opened their season Sept. 6 against Aliso Niguel and lost to the Wolverines, 224-267.

In cross-country:

Looking strong in its first run of the season, the Laguna's boys' team finished in third-place a the Laguna Hills Invitational.

Team Captain Casey Finnerty, a junior, ran a 16:27, to lead the Breakers to third-place in the junior race. Senior Yann Panassie ran a 16:53 and was second on the team ladder.

"Casey's race was nothing short of a breakthrough performance," Coach Dave Brobeck said.

"There is little question that he has paid his dues through the summer and will roll with great success throughout the season."

Laguna's top five placements also included sophomore Blake Hofmeister (17:02), freshman Matt Neev (17:22) and sophomore Richard Mattingley (17:30).

The big news out of the invite was Laguna's freshman team winning the Division 3 race, doing so against 13 larger schools. Matt Neev won the frosh race by 35 seconds.

"It was absolutely dominant," Brobeck said of Neev's run. "He is currently my No. 4 varsity runner but may very well move up the ranks as the season progresses.

"Matt had the second-fastest frosh time of the day, regardless of school or division."

Laguna has won the frosh race for two straight years.

Laguna's varsity squad will run under the lights Saturday at one of the key, invite-only seeded night races of the season, the Woodbridge Invitational.

The race begins at 9 p.m.

"This is a spectacle; a stacked race with only the best teams in the state, all divisions, entered in it," Brobeck said. "Massive lights are wheeled in to bring the course to life. It will be awesome."

Not many of Laguna's top 40 girls ran at Laguna Hills Saturday, but Coach Earl Towner said the Breakers had "solid performances" from the top five on the team ladder.

In her first race, sophomore Parker Yamasaki ran a 21.23 to top Laguna's ladder board. Senior Heather Thomas was next at 21.27, followed by sophomore Kativa Strickland (21.37), sophomore Bryn Valaika (21:56) and freshman Austin Schlatter (21:57), who also ran her first race.

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