The Laguna Beach boys' and girls' cross-country teams competed Saturday at the CIF Southern Section Division 4 Cross-Country Championships at Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut.
The Laguna boys' team is moving on to run at the CIF State Cross-Country Championships in Fresno on Saturday. The Breakers, who finished seventh in the team standings with 197 points, are joining CIF champion Harvard-Westlake (80 points), Don Bosco Tech (117), Notre Dame/Sherman Oaks (146), Crespi (174), Nordhoff (177) and JSerra (193), for the annual event at Woodward Park.
Laguna senior Matt Neev finished runner-up to the Division 4 individual boys' title. Neev was in second place in 16 minutes 24 seconds. Will Conway of Notre Dame/Sherman Oaks took first in 16:22.
At the Division 4 prelims Nov. 13 at Mt. SAC, Neev took first place(15:49) in Heat 2.
Boys' Coach Scott Wittkop said he was a "little surprised" to run on a flat course at Mt. SAC, saying his team was "looking forward to (running) the hills."
"The State course is really geared toward our team," Wittkop said. "It is long with hills. This is what we have trained for."
"I thought Matt ran a good race and he is a big reason that the team qualified for State. "Matt has a great shot at winning a State title."
The Laguna girls finished 12th among 16 teams at CIF Finals. Moving on to the girls' Division 4 State Meet is first-time CIF champion JSerra (48 points), Harvard-Westlake (138), Flintridge Sacred Heart (165), El Segundo (166), Paraclete (168), La Reina (176) and Mayfield Senior (187).
"I thought we ran well as a team," Laguna girls' Coach Steve Lalim said. "The girls did everything they could to try to get to State. Unfortunately, we fell short of our goal.
"I'm extremely proud of the girls. They worked very hard this season and even though we didn't get to the State meet, our season was still very much a success. Many of the girls ran personal bests this season and the varsity girls won their fourth-straight league title. It was a lot of fun."