San Lorenzo Valley High freshman Anna Maxwell outdueled Scotts Valley High sophomore rival Vanessa Fraser for the Central Coast Section individual title, while their teams finished first and second at Toro Park on Saturday, Nov. 13, both qualifying for the Nov. 27 state championship in Fresno.
“Like (SLV coach) Rob Collins said, the valley did pretty well,” Scotts Valley head coach Doug Chase said.
The Falcons’ scorers were Fraser (second in 18 minutes, 11 seconds), Abby Utic (14th in 20:22), Olivia Gonzalez (21st in 20:52), Mackenzie O’Toole (22nd in 20:54) and Twyla Hawley (38th in 21:33).
“They paced it pretty well,” Chase said. “They didn’t have a plan to pack-run, but with their similar skill levels, they tend to run up there without attempting to pack.”
For the Falcons, the second-place team finish netted them the school’s first trip to the state championship.
The Cougar girls ran their best race of the season, Collins said.
“We ended up stepping up to a whole other level,” he said. “We were running extremely well.”
Led by Maxwell’s first-place finish in 17:51 — the all-time second-fastest time by a girl on the Toro Park Course — the Cougar scorers, all freshmen, took the top position in Division IV. After Maxwell, Abby Sherman (seventh in 19:38), Claire MacMillan (11th in 20:18), Jessica Jensen (17th in 20:37) and Adela Weigel (19th in 20:52) rounded out the scoring.
Still, Collins has tempered expectations for the team at the state meet.
“(The state meet) is a whole new level for a young team,” he said.
After winning the Santa Cruz Coast Athletic League title the week before, the San Lorenzo Valley boys fell short of their goal to make the state cross country meet as a team, but they finished third in the CCS on the strong legs of Cody Johnson (fifth in 16:29), Landis MacMillan (sixth in 16:32) and Nick Hicks (12th in 16:50).
Johnson and MacMillan will travel to Fresno as individuals for the state championship Nov. 27.
The Scotts Valley boys team ran a solid race for eighth place in Division IV. Leading the way were Tyler Edwards (25th in 17:19), Scott Edwards (31st in 17:32) and Sean Kennedy (35th in 17:38).