Cross-country finals: Newbury Park turns in historic performance

Newbury Park runners at Southern Section preliminaries.
Newbury Park runners, from left, Aaron Sahlman, Leo Young, Colin Sahlman (hidden), Zaki Blunt, Daniel Appleford and Lex Young on the course at the Southern Section preliminaries.
(Dylan Stewart / PrepCalTrack)

History was made Saturday at the Southern Section cross-country championships at Mt. San Antonio College. The first six finishers in the Division 1 boys’ race were from Newbury Park High. Talk about pushing each other to perfection — the Panthers have taken that attitude to a new level under coach Sean Brosnan.

The Panthers finished with a perfect 15 to win the Division 1 team title. It’s never been done before. The pack of Newbury Park runners was led by Colin Sahlman, who won in 14 minutes 52.6 seconds. Then came Lex Young (14:52.7), Aaron Sahlman (14:52.8), Leo Young (14.52.9), Daniel Appleford (14.59.2) and Dev Doshi (15:00.1). Just wait until next week’s state championships in Clovis when Brosnan really lets them try to run their fastest times.

It wasn’t just the Newbury Park boys’ team putting on a show and winning the Division 1 title. The girls’ team also won a Division 1 title over the 3-mile course, with Alabama-bound Sam McDonnell winning in 16:50.5.

“I’m pretty proud of the guys, and the girls did a great job too,” Brosnan said.


In Division 2, Manhattan Beach Mira Costa won the boys’ and girls’ team titles. In Division 2 boys, Jai Dawson of Dana Hills won in 14:55.2. Dalia Frias of Mira Costa won the Division 2 girls title in 16:48.6.

Isaiah Givens of Pasadena had the fastest boys’ time of the day, winning Division 3 in 14:48.2.

West Torrance’s Aaron Cohen suffered a broken collarbone when a group of runners went down in the opening 50 meters of the Division 3 race. He was smiling afterward while being watched over by paramedics because West Torrance won the team title.

City championships

There was morning fog and cool weather for the City Section cross-country finals at Pierce College, but that’s not the reason sophomore Max Fields of Palisades was the only runner out of 75 in the Division I final wearing gloves.

“My good luck charm,” he said.

Fields went out and ran a personal-best time of 15 minutes 22.5 seconds to capture the Division I title and lead Palisades to the team title. He finished second last spring as a freshman in the 3,200 during track season. He qualified for next weekend’s state championships in Clovis.

In Division I girls, Granada Hills’ Isabel Castagnola continued her rapid improvement and won the title with a time of 18:18.9. She came into this season having never broken 19 minutes. Teammate Jocelyn Pacheco was second. Granada Hills ran away with the team championship.

In Division II boys, James Jimenez of Venice won in 15:59.4. Monroe won the team title. In Division II girls, Lidia Prokopovych of Venice won in 19:07.3. Eagle Rock took the team crown.

The Franklin High duo of Francisco Rodriguez and David Martinez finished one-two in Division III boys. Rodriguez ran 15:48.1 and Martinez finished in 15:50.4. Right behind in third was sophomore Jude Sandridge of Reseda in 15:56. Verdugo Hills won the team title.


Dulce Gonzalez of Canoga Park took the girls title in 18:52 and the Hunters won the team title.

Complete results.