CdM girls take aim at state three-peat

A luxury car company runs commercials urging consumers to buy its product and make it a "December to Remember."

This week, Corona del Mar High cross country coach Bill Sumner talked about the Sea Kings making it a "November to Remember."

The Sea Kings usually do just that at the CIF State Meet. Corona del Mar's girls' team is going for its third straight CIF State Division III title this morning at Woodward Park in Fresno.

CdM's girls, who finished third at the CIF Southern Section Division III finals Nov. 20 at Mt. San Antonio College, have won four of the last five state titles. Their seven overall titles tie them for the most in state history.

"We're a November team," Sumner said. "That's when we do our best work."

Sumner's boys' team is happy that it also put in the work to make it to today's state meet, for the first time since 2007. The Sea Kings placed seventh at Mt. SAC to qualify.

The CdM boys and girls are the lone Newport-Mesa teams to qualify for today's race. Orange Lutheran senior Ava Kent, a Costa Mesa resident, will be running today as an individual in the girls' Division III race.

Sumner didn't make any predictions. Corona del Mar's girls come into the state meet ranked No. 4 in the state in Division III by DyeStatCal, behind Campolindo of Moraga, Palos Verdes and Pacific Coast League foe Woodbridge. Palos Verdes and Woodbridge both finished ahead of CdM at the Southern Section Division III finals.

Sumner said Campolindo, from the North Coast Section, is also very good.

"Anything's possible," he said. "Last year, everybody made a big song and dance that we were washed up [after finishing second to Orange Lutheran at the CIF-SS Division III finals]. You can never tell."

The Sea Kings have good depth, although junior Ashlee Powers has been leading the way all year. Powers, who finished third individually last weekend, is one of two returning placers from last year. The other is junior Kristen Rivera, who finished 24th at the CIF Southern Section Finals.

That was right behind senior Devon Hoppe, in 23rd. Freshman Ellen Naruse has also been running second for much of the year for the Sea Kings, who also have junior Megan Zwerling and sophomores Shelby Perez and Darcie Marshall.

"Palos Verdes will have three girls up front," Sumner said of Southern Section Division III individual champion Rebecca Mehra and her teammates, Erica Capellino (third) and Sierra Ponthier (12th). "They put three in the top seven or eight, and they're tough to beat. Campolindo has a 1-2 punch that's pretty tough. We went against them at Stanford.

"I've got one girl [Powers] that can maybe get up front, but I do have the back side. Most championships go to the team with the best fifth runner."

Sumner said he thinks the boys, led by junior Blake Myers and senior Austin Barvin, can finish top 10 in the state. Myers and Barvin both finished in 16 minutes, 42 seconds at the CIF-SS Finals, taking 32nd and 33rd places, respectively.

Again, the team is deep, with seniors Peter Morris, Alexander Turney and Derek Satterfield also placing for the Sea Kings last weekend. The other two runners are senior Zachary Asdourian and sophomore Reid Meckler.

DyeStatCal doesn't rank CdM's boys in the top 10, but Sumner is confident.

"We always have to have a goal," Sumner said. "Our goal was to make it to the state meet and make top 10, and it looks like they're going to get there … We're in good shape right now."

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