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Local cross-country teams build confidence in Orange County Championships

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Newport Harbor’s Will DeBassio runs in the Division 2 boys’ varsity race during the Orange County Cross-Country Championships at Oak Canyon Park on Saturday.
(Don Leach / Staff Photographer)

The most important races of the cross-country season are on the horizon, as league finals meets will begin taking place the week after next.

With that in mind, local cross-country coaches opted to build the confidence of their runners, having them compete against comparable competition in the two-day Orange County Championships meet.

Newport Harbor senior Will DeBassio recorded the fastest local time of the meet on Saturday, completing the three-mile Oak Canyon Park course in 15 minutes 26.4 seconds.

DeBassio placed second in the Division 2 boys’ varsity race, leading Newport Harbor to a third-place finish with 88 points. Chett Clark (eighth, 15:48.6), Cole Ridenour (12th, 15:57.7), Elliott Harrington (27th, 16:12.3) and Miles Mikkelsen (41st, 16:24.8) rounded out the scoring quintet for the Sailors.

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“I think this was actually good for us to be in this race, rather than the sweepstakes, because I think this was a big confidence boost,” DeBassio said. “A lot of the guys placed higher than we would in the sweepstakes.

“Last weekend [at the Clovis Invitational] was our first race as a whole team, as a varsity seven. We had people taking the ACT and stuff like that.”

Edison’s Wylie Cleugh placed 14th in 16:04.1 to guide the Chargers to a fourth-place showing with 144 points.

Huntington Beach’s Carlos Cahuantzi finished seventh in 15:46.6 for the eighth-place Oilers (234 points).

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Marina was ninth with 259 points, and Fountain Valley wound up in 12th place with 288 points.

In the boys’ sweepstakes, JSerra senior and Wake Forest commit Anthony Grover took home his second county individual crown with a time of 14:34.3.

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JSerra’s Anthony Grover leads the pack in the boys’ sweepstakes race of the Orange County Cross-Country Championships at Oak Canyon Park on Saturday.
(Don Leach / Staff Photographer)

Dana Hills beat Beckman 64-126 for its fifth straight Orange County championship and 11th of the past 18 years on the boys’ side. The Dolphins were led by Jai Dawson (14:41.1) and Carrick Denker (14:44.2), who finished second and third, respectively.

With aspirations of a podium finish at the CIF State cross-country championships in Division 2 this season, Dolphins boys’ coach Craig Dunn said that he would have liked to see his team tighten its five-man gap. He added that the Orange County Championships is a regular-season meet at which his program tries to “show some signs of life.”

“We were obviously happy with the outcome as far as the win, but we were hoping for a little better showing,” Dunn said. “We have still yet to really show who we are, and hopefully, come November, we’ll be able to really show the state of California who we are.”

Marina’s Marikay Schwab led the area in the Division 2 girls’ varsity race, finishing second with a time of 18:16.2. Makena Castillo placed 11th in 19:08.1, as the Vikings took second place as a team with 123 points.

Brooke Adams (third, 18:25.8) led Huntington Beach to third place with 131 points.

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Newport Harbor, which placed fifth with 142 points, put two in the top 10 in Leanna Tamura (seventh, 18:46.8) and Isa Glassen (ninth, 18:51.2).

The season will be on the line when the Sunset Conference holds the combined Surf and Wave League finals on Nov. 2 at Central Park. During the regular season, however, Schwab said there is a level of camaraderie between Sunset Conference schools.

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Marina’s Marikay Schwab finished second in the Division 2 girls’ varsity race during the Orange County Cross-Country Championships at Oak Canyon Park on Saturday.
(Don Leach / Staff Photographer)

“I have friends that run on Huntington [Beach], and we’re really close, so I’ll go and cheer for them,” Schwab said. “It’s super fun because we’re all close friends, and you want the best for them.”

El Toro edged Canyon 80-110 in the girls’ sweepstakes race, while San Clemente’s Hana Catsimanes won the individual title with a time of 17:02.8.

Laguna Beach finished 14th overall with 314 points, led by Morgan Falkowski (33rd, 18:33.9).

Maddie Jahshan came across the finish line in 18:42.3 (39th) for Fountain Valley, which was 15th with 370 points.

Ocean View challenged for the boys’ small schools varsity title on Friday, but Esperanza held off the Seahawks 71-83. Diego Gonzalez (third, 15:30.4) and Miguel Flores (sixth, 15:57.1) contributed low point totals.

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Nico Pence (10th, 16:02.6) paced Corona del Mar, which finished sixth with 125 points.

Costa Mesa took 10th place, behind Edward Rodriguez’s 16th-place showing in 16:16.6.

In the girls’ small schools varsity race, Corona del Mar led all local teams by finishing in third place with 95 points. Maya Buchwald’s 11th-place showing in 18:55.3 paced the Sea Kings.

Costa Mesa’s Diane Molina was the top local girl, placing fourth in the race with a time of 17:54.0. The Mustangs also finished fourth as a team with 112 points.

Ocean View, which placed sixth with 185 points, was led by Natalie Miller (15th, 19:13.4) and Elizabeth King (16th, 19:14.2).

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Brooke Adams is near the front in the Division 2 girls’ varsity race for Huntington Beach during the Orange County Cross-Country Championships at Oak Canyon Park on Saturday.
(Don Leach / Staff Photographer)

BOYS’ CROSS-COUNTRY

Orange County Championships

At Oak Canyon Park

3-mile course

Boys’ Sweepstakes

Team Results

1. Dana Hills 64; 2. Beckman 126; 3. San Clemente 132; 4. El Toro 158; 5. Woodbridge 192; 6. Canyon 196; 7. Capistrano Valley 202; 8. Aliso Niguel 238; 9. Mission Viejo 238; 10. Foothill 248

Individuals

1. Grover (JSerra) 14:34.3; 2. Dawson (Dana Hills) 14:41.1; 3. Denker (Dana Hills) 14:44.2; 4. Robertson (Capistrano Valley) 14:44.3; 5. Lee (Trabuco Hills) 14:46.3; 6. Bramel (Foothill) 14:59.2; 7. Albin (Canyon) 15:00.3; 8. McKenna (Aliso Niguel) 15:01.2; 9. Mettler (San Clemente) 15:03.6; 10. Horspool (San Clemente) 15:07.3

Division 2 Varsity

Team Results

1. Tesoro 80; 2. Valencia 83; 3. Newport Harbor 88; 4. Edison 144; 5. Northwood 166; 6. Segerstrom 227; 7. Villa Park 231; 8. Huntington Beach 234; 9. Marina 259; 10. Tustin 269

Individuals

1. Larsen (Valencia) 15:18.8; 2. DeBassio (Newport Harbor) 15:26.4; 3. Alcerro (Villa Park) 15:35.0; 4. Gomez (Sunny Hills) 15:37.9; 5. Smith (Northwood) 15:41.9; 6. Franco (El Modena) 15:44.1; 7. Cahuantzi (Huntington Beach) 15:46.6; 8. Clark (Newport Harbor) 15:48.6; 9. Manning (Tesoro) 15:54.5; 10. Morgan (Tesoro) 15:54.7

Small Schools Varsity

Team Results

1. Esperanza 71; 2. Ocean View 83; 3. Servite 90; 4. Santa Ana Valley 107; 5. Anaheim 112; 6. Corona del Mar 125; 7. Laguna Hills 194; 8. Crean Lutheran 236; 9. Portola 279; 10. Costa Mesa 298

Individuals

1. Trujillo (Anaheim) 15:24.7; 2. Manes (Esperanza) 15:26.1; 3. Gonzalez (Ocean View) 15:30.4; 4. Laske (Esperanza) 15:35.7; 5. Calle (Servite) 15:54.0; 6. Flores (Ocean View) 15:57.1; 7. Vasquez (Crean Lutheran) 15:58.1; 8. Koerber (Crean Lutheran) 16:01.4; 9. Santana (Santa Ana Valley) 16:02.5; 10. Pence (Corona del Mar) 16:02.6

GIRLS’ CROSS-COUNTRY

Orange County Championships

At Oak Canyon Park

3-mile course

Girls’ Sweepstakes

Team Results

1. El Toro 80; 2. Canyon 110; 3. San Clemente 162; 4. Aliso Niguel 165; 5. Foothill 193; 6. Dana Hills 202; 7. Beckman 205; 8. Tesoro 207; 9. Capistrano Valley 216; 10. Trabuco Hills 234

Individuals

1. Catsimanes (San Clemente) 17:02.8; 2. Corsinita (Capistrano Valley) 17:11.0; 3. Hadley (Canyon) 17:21.0; 4. Richards (Aliso Niguel) 17:31.1; 5. Hernandez (Santa Ana) 17:31.6; 6. Munoz (Trabuco Hills) 17:35.1; 7. Silengo (Kennedy) 17:35.4; 8. Watts (Trabuco Hills) 17:37.3; 9. Schuerger (Aliso Niguel) 17:37.8; 10. Gaitan (Dana Hills) 17:41.3

Division 2 Varsity

Team Results

1. Northwood 58; 2. Marina 123; 3. Huntington Beach 131; 4. Santa Ana 136; 5. Newport Harbor 142; 6. Villa Park 166; 7. University 174; 8. Segerstrom 183; 9. El Modena 222; 10. Sunny Hills 242

Individuals

1. Lowengrub (University) 18:10.4; 2. Schwab (Marina) 18:16.2; 3. Adams (Huntington Beach) 18:25.8; 4. Klauke (University) 18:29.0; 5. Friedel (Northwood) 18:37.1; 6. Fee (Sunny Hills) 18:45.2; 7. Tamura (Newport Harbor) 18:46.8; 8. Landis (Northwood) 18:49.0; 9. Glassen (Newport Harbor) 18:51.2; 10. Timmermans (El Modena) 18:57.0

Small Schools Varsity

Team Results

1. Brea Olinda 24; 2. Portola 80; 3. Corona del Mar 95; 4. Costa Mesa 112; 5. Laguna Hills 179; 6. Ocean View 185; 7. Katella 189; 8. Esperanza 197; 9. Crean Lutheran 263; 10. Santiago 279

Individuals

1. Valenti (Brea Olinda) 17:28.5; 2. Douge (Brea Olinda) 17:31.5; 3. Zdanavage (Portola) 17:49.8; 4. Molina (Costa Mesa) 17:54.0; 5. Reeves (Esperanza) 18:21.3; 6. Wernli (Brea Olinda) 18:22.3; 7. Painter (Brea Olinda) 18:39.4; 8. Saeger (Santa Margarita) 18:39.4; 9. Apahidean (Brea Olinda) 18:50.9; 10. Viramontes (Katella) 18:52.5

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