East County runners race their way to cross-country state championships

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It’s a race that high school cross-country runners have penciled on their calendars months in advance. Last Saturday’s San Diego Section championships at Morley Field did not disappoint for a number of elite East County runners who will now be making the trek to this weekend’s state championship meet in Fresno.

It’s a race that high school cross-country runners have penciled on their calendars months in advance. Last Saturday’s San Diego Section championships at Morley Field did not disappoint for a number of elite East County runners who will now be making the trek to this weekend’s state championship meet in Fresno.

Granite Hills junior Brady DeHaven (Division II boys), El Capitan sophomore Matt Machnov (Division III boys), El Capitan freshman Carolinh Calvert (Division III girls) and Mountain Empire sophomore Delanie Craighead (Division V girls) are the region’s individual qualifiers.

They are joined by four team qualifiers: Steele Canyon (Division II boys and girls), Santana (Division III boys) and Christian (Division V girls).

All will next race Saturday, Nov. 26, at Fresno’s famed Woodward Park, starting at 8:30 a.m.

DeHaven finished eighth among the 131 individuals in the Division II boys’ race by covering the 3.04-mile course in 16:32. The place-finish earned him the third of five individual slots to the state meet.

Granite Hills coach Walter Bueno said DeHaven was particularly driven to compete this year after missing the state cut by one slot last year.

“He was driven to progress, driven to make it this season and make up for what he missed last year,” Bueno explained. 

Bueno said DeHaven logged 300 miles in training over the summer.

“Each race he raced in was amazing to watch,” Bueno noted. “It was amazing to watch his focus and his progress.”

Josh Sandoval is believed to be the last Granite Hills male runner to advance to the state meet since 2004. Jason Finch was another state meet qualifier for Granite Hills in 1996-98.

Finch finished third in the Division I boys race at the 1998 state finals.

DeHaven won this year’s Grossmont Conference boys varsity finals race by covering the 3.03-mile course in 15:45.

El Capitan’s Machnov finished sixth among the 125 finishers in the Division III boys race to qualify for the state meet as an individual. He timed 16:38 to place second among the five individual qualifiers in the race.

El Capitan’s Calvert finished sixth among the 109 finishers in the Division III girls race to qualify for the state meet as an individual. She timed 16:52 in the 2.75-mile race to finish second among the division’s five individual qualifiers.

Calvert tuned up for the CIF finals by posting the top time in the Grossmont Conference championship meet the previous week with a time of 15:57 for 2.6 miles.

Mountain Empire’s Craighead finished ninth among the 94 finishers in the Division V girls race to qualify for the state meet as an individual. She timed 18:46 on the 2.75-mile course to finish fourth among the division’s five individual qualifiers.

Team work

Steele Canyon placed third among teams in the Division II girls’ race and fourth among teams in the Division II boys’ race.

Mt. Carmel won the Division II girls race with 58 points, followed by Canyon Crest Academy with 71 points and Steele Canyon with 88 points.

The women of Steele’s five scorers include freshman Makenzie Wray (eighth, 17:19), senior Areli Diaz (14th, 17:38), sophomore Jessica Manzuk (20th, 17:49), freshman Trinity Birdwell (21st, 17:52) and sophomore Janelle Shallal (25th, 17:55).

Steele Canyon’s five-person spread was a tight 36 seconds.

Poway edged Mt. Carmel 78-79 to win the Division II boys team championship. Del Norte finished third with 99 points, followed by Steele Canyon with 158 points.

The Cougars’ five scorers included senior Luis Pina (16th, 16:46), junior Matt Scarlett (19th, 16:54), senior Dominic Garza (34th, 17:23), senior Jack Schaefer (41st, 17:31) and junior Christian O’Neill (48th, 17:46).

Steele Canyon’s five-man spread was 1:00.

Santana placed third among Division III boys’ teams with 119 points, though well behind division champion La Costa Canyon (39 points) and runner-up Cathedral Catholic (43 points).

Santana’s five scorers included junior Vincent Valletta (13th, 17:10), senior Joseph Rowe (19th, 17:44), senior Cameron Bleyle (21st, 17:45), sophomore Devin Winslow (29th, 18:10) and senior John Lockmann (37th, 18:27).

Christian finished third behind Francis Parker and La Jolla Country Day to qualify as a state meet team entrant in the Division V girls’ race. 

Senior Sage Salacup led Christian across the finish line with a time of 19:12 in 13th place, followed by freshman Maya Olver (19th place, 19:49), junior Faith Hyden (22nd, 20:16), senior Makenzie Crouder (35th, 20:55) and senior Emma Braswell (36th, 20:55).

Notepad

El Capitan finished fourth among Division III boys’ teams to just miss the state cut. The Vaqueros finished with 123 points – four points behind state qualifier Santana.

Mountain Empire finished fourth among Division V girls team to just miss the state cut. Freshman Reese Shuler finished 15th among individuals in 19:26 while freshman AnnaBelle Braswell was 21st in 19:52.

Santana finished sixth in the Division III girls’ team standings. Junior Jamie McDonald was the team’s top finisher in 19th place in 18:07.

El Capitan was seventh in the Division III girls’ team standings

West Hills senior James Ferraro placed 14th in the Division II boys’ race in 16:41. The Wolf Pack finished 12th among Division II girls’ teams and 13th among boys’ teams.

Valhalla finished ninth in the Division II girls’ race and 11th among Division II boys’ teams. 

Junior Kyle Gabrielson was the top Norsemen individual finisher in 29th place in 17:13.

Grossmont finished 11th in the Division II girls’ race and 12th in the Division II boys’ race.

Monte Vista finished 11th in the Division III girls’ race and 12th in the Division III boys’ race

El Cajon Valley finished 13th in the Division III boys race.

Granite Hills finished 14th in the Division II boys’ race and 17th in the Division II girls’ race

This year’s Grossmont Conference finals took place Nov. 19 at West Hills High School.

Steele Canyon out-pointed Grossmont 35-91 to emerge as the top boys varsity team while Steele Canyon was near perfect on the scoreboard in the girls varsity race with 22 points to runner-up Grossmont’s 78 points.

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