Last week featured two of the top cross country races in the South Bay Cup on Oct. 2 at Columbia Park in Torrance and the Palos Verdes Invitational on Saturday.
Team-wise, Bay League powers Mira Costa and Palos Verdes had their way enjoying sweeps of those events. Last Saturday, the Sea King boys and girls swept both varsity races at their own invitational on their short but hilly two-mile course. Three days earlier, the Mustang boys and girls enjoyed sweeps as Mira Costa's boys used their depth to top CIF-Los Angeles City Section power San Pedro, 51-78, for the title and the Lady Mustangs romping over runner-up South Torrance, 21-59.
In 86-degree weather on the course near the Palos Verdes Peninsula coast line, Palos Verdes boys took two individual races with Casey Celoestian winnng the first race at 10 minutes and 8.09 seconds and Lucas Robinson capturing the second race clocking 10:22.69.
Also for P.V., Miles Irish won the third race in 10:35.44, followed by teammate Luke Letwin (10:46.6). Placing third was Rolling Hills Estates Peninsula's Matt Lyons (10:55.41).
The Sea Kings also had wins in the boys' No. 5, 6 and 7 races from Jake Cohen (10:54.59), Ian Jones (10:50) and Robert Franklin (10:58), in order.
For the girls, Cassidy Webber led Palos Verdes with a third place finish in the No. 1 (elite) race timing 12:13.95. She finished behind Malibu's Caroline Pietrzyk who had a blazing time of 11:56.9.
McKennah Genovese was second in the second race in 12:27.22 but the Lady Sea Kings, who won their first Bay League meet over second place Mira Costa on Sept. 26 at the P.V. Course, had wins by Camille Hines (No. 3, 12:33.71), Skylar Thiel (No. 4, 12:50.05), Lauren Bourgeois (No. 6, 13:08) and Caitlin Stoner (No. 7, 13:03).
In the South Bay Cup, it was San Pedro senior Steve Correa that captured the boys' individual 2.6-mile race clocking 12:52.9, followed by South Torrance junior Nick Lofgren at 13:00.31, but Mira Costa had three runners in the top 10 in third place senior Niko Pappas (13:04.46), fifth place senior J.C. Ohmstede (13:35.52) and seventh place junior Chance Weston (13:41.96) that lifted the Mustangs to the top. Ethan Williams (11th, 13:52) and David Hodges (25th, 14:17) were Mira Costa's other top finishers.
"It's always fun to come out every year for this race," Correa said. "We're looking at a City title and to, at least, finish in the top 5-10 in the state finals."
Other top 10 boys finishers included sophomore Yousef Baddour (fourth, 13:07.96), Manuel Vargas (San Pedro, senior, sixth, 13:35.52), Aaron Wolfe (Beverly Hills, senior, eighth, 13:46.71), Tim Haravey (Torrance, senior, ninth 13:48.46) and Solomon Kenehailua (North Torrance, junior, 10th, 13:51.74).
For the Lady Mustangs, all five of their girls finsihed in the top nine, including a one-two finish by senior Abby Hoa (14:45.78) and junior Emma Laittanen (15:12.84), in order. Also for Mira Costa, junior Kara Jeony (16:02.31), junior Leora Tofler (16:04.28) and junior Natasha Brunstein (16:16.68) were fifth, seventh and ninth, respectively.
Runner-up South was led by junior Kimberly Coscia who took third at 15:26.28.
Other top 10 individual female finishers were Lily Zino (El Segundo Vistamar, junior, fourth, 15:56.24), Rachel Dela Cruz (Torrance, junior, sixth, 16:03.31), Danielle Nunez (San Pedro, junior, eigthth, 16:15.31) and Emily Atkinson (West Torrance, sophomore, 16:19.34).
More cross country meets are in store including the Bay (at Redondo), Ocean (at Rancho Park) and Pioneer (at Palos Verdes) League meets on Oct. 17. Those league finals will be on Nov. 7.