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Breakers boys win state

All season long, Laguna Beach High boys’ cross-country coach Dave Brobeck had so much faith in his senior-dominated team.

All season long, the Breakers rewarded that faith, and they did it again Saturday at the CIF State Cross Country Championships in Fresno.

Laguna Beach won the Division IV state title, easily outpointing McFarland of Bakersfield, 69-122, at Woodward Park.

Junior Matt Neev was second individually for the Breakers, in 15 minutes, 44 seconds. Senior Blake Hofmeister placed fifth (15:55) and senior Andrew Shapero was 15th in 16:10.


Seniors Tommy Newton-Neal (21st, 16:23), Sean Pigden (47th, 16:44) and Richard Mattingly (63rd, 16:58) also scored for Laguna Beach. Senior Jake Johnson finished in 17:42, 93rd place.

The Breakers’ team time of 1:20:56 was nearly two minutes faster than McFarland (1:22:46).

This is the third state title for Laguna Beach High boys’ cross country, joining the teams from 1989 and 2004.

The Laguna girls placed fifth in the Division IV competition, paced by sophomore Natasha Strickland (19th individually, 19:07) and senior McKenna Nokes (29th, 19:22).


Sophomore Marisa Merchant (38th, 19:58), senior Gerry Artman (43rd, 20:02) and senior Parker Yamasaki (63rd, 20:31) also scored for the Breakers.

The team time of 1:39:00 is believed to be the fastest in Laguna Beach girls’ cross-country history.