Being unranked in the Stanford Invitational Division 4 girls' race Saturday did little to deter the Laguna Beach High girls' cross-country team from having a great day in Palo Alto.
Make that an outstanding day: the Breakers won the Division 4 girls' championship.
The race featured the No. 4 (Mayfield), No. 5 (Notre Dame), No. 9 (La Reina) and No. 10 (Scotts Valley) teams in the state rankings, but it was Laguna — unranked in the state going into the meet — who turned heads. The Breakers took the lead at the one-mile mark and ran to victory against 25 other teams.
"It was a great effort by our girls, from our first runner to our sixth runner," Laguna Coach Steve Lalim said. "It was a great team effort, and a lot of fun. I'm really proud of the girls. Their hard work is paying off. I can't wait to see what they do in November. I know one thing — they'll be ready."
At the Orange Coast League Cluster meet on Sept. 26, Laguna's girls also claimed first place. Placements for the Breakers: Janie Crawford (first); Livie Clark (second); Brenna Merchant (seventh); Eliza Romero (11th); Carlee Ressler (12th); Maddy Kristensen (13th); Katie Grayden (15th).
Laguna, ranked No. 2 this week in CIF Southern Section Division 4, will compete Saturday at the Clovis Invitational. The meet will be held at Woodward Park in Fresno, site of the CIF State Cross-Country Championships in November. The varsity girls' race is at 1:25 p.m., followed by the varsity boys' race at 1:55 p.m.
In a league four-way Monday at Aliso Creek Golf Course (par 32), Laguna went 2-1, scoring a 259-262 win over Calvary Chapel, won by forfeit against Costa Mesa and lost to league-leader Estancia.
Laguna individual scores from Monday: Jackie McMahon (48); Mary Kate Quellmalz (52); Leslie Dwight (52); Jamie Hendrickson (53); Hailey Quigley (54); Audrey Curtis (59).
Quigley's score was key for Laguna. She shot a 54, which was three strokes below her prior low score of the season. Quigley, Laguna's No. 6 golfer, along with Hendrickson and Curtis, the Nos. 4 and 5 players for the Breakers, each has shot her best score over the past two weeks.
At the halfway point of the league season, Laguna (3-2 league) sits in second place.
Laguna has two four-way league matches next week. The Breakers face Estancia at 2:30 p.m. Monday at Mesa Linda Golf Course in Costa Mesa, and face Calvary Chapel at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday at Mile Square Park in Fountain Valley.
Laguna, ranked No. 1 in Division 1-A, took Mira Costa to the wire in nonleague play Wednesday, but the host Mustangs were able to pull out a 17-25, 25-23, 17-25, 25-17, 15-12 victory.
Alyse Ford had 37 kills and eight digs, Alex Murphy six kills and 14 digs, Julia Goggin eight kills and Sevana Drovak 49 assists and eight digs for the Breakers, who fell to 8-5.
"I'm proud of the way we fought," Laguna Coach Lance Stewart said. "We played with good energy and fought hard all the way down to the final point. It was a good battle for us.
"Sevana Drovak had her best match of the year. She played some good defense, and her location was really good on her sets. I thought Alyse (Ford) was steady all match, and Alex Murphy played a real solid match in the back row."
Laguna moved to 3-0 in Orange Coast League play Tuesday by sweeping visiting Calvary Chapel, 25-21, 25-19, 25-22. Ford had 20 kills and Drovak 32 assists. It was the first league loss for the Eagles, who went to 2-1 in league and 5-10 overall.
The Breakers had picked up league win No. 2 on Sept. 27 with a 25-12, 25-22, 25-22 sweep of host Estancia. Ford had 27 kills and Drovak added 36 assists.
Laguna has two league road contests next week, starting with a 4:30 match Monday at Costa Mesa. The Breakers also face Saddleback at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday.
The Breakers, ranked fifth in CIF Southern Section Division 2, continued their undefeated ways in Orange Coast League play.
Laguna completed the first round of league play by scoring wins over Calvary Chapel, 16-2, and Godinez, 17-1. The Breakers singles contingent of No. 1 Kira Hamilton, No. 2 Bailey Jaeger and No. 3 Ashley Shelton won seven of nine sets against Calvary Chapel and eight of nine against Godinez.
The Laguna doubles teams swept all nine sets in both matches. Seniors and co-captains Chloe Mansour and Dominique Willette continued to lead the doubles team and extended their win streak in going five for five in match play against the Eagles and Grizzlies.
The two wins put Laguna at 4-0 in league and 9-3 overall.
The Breakers are hosting the Laguna Invitational on Friday and Saturday. Staring at 3 p.m. Friday, the Breakers host Aliso Niguel and Foothill plays at El Toro. The tournament continues at 9 a.m. Saturday.
Next week, Laguna plays 3 p.m. league matches at home Tuesday against Estancia and at Calvary Chapel on Thursday. On Wednesday, the Breakers play Los Alamitos (No. 3, Division 1-AA) in a 3 p.m. nonleague match at El Dorado Park in Long Beach.
Boys' Water Polo
The Breakers, the No. 5 team in Division 2, improved to 2-0 in Orange Coast League play Wednesday by rolling by visiting Sage Hill, 25-4. The Breakers rocketed to a 12-0 lead after one quarter and held a 17-1 lead at the half. Riley Thomas scored four goals and had four steals, Caleb Scott, Trent Sadler and Trevor Collins each had three goals, Connor Hauer had a team-high four assists, Garret Hartley had six saves and Maxx McCarter added three saves.
In a nonleague match Saturday at Coronado, Laguna shut out the Islanders, 4-0, in the fourth quarter to pull out 12-9 victory over the defending Division III champion in the CIF San Diego Section. Camron Hauer led the scoring with four goals to go along with two assists and two steals, and McCarter had 10 saves.
The Breakers start a thee-game schedule, including two high-ranking Division 2 teams, over a three-day period starting Tuesday with a 4 p.m. home nonleague match against second-ranked Foothill. They play a league game at 3:15 p.m. Wednesday at Estancia, then step out of league again to face fourth-ranked Murrieta Valley at 4 p.m. Thursday.