It’s getting to be that time again: The CIF Southern Section regularly has some of the toughest high school cross country competition anywhere, and the sectional prelims are Saturday at Mount San Antonio College in Walnut.

Local representation will be heavy. The St. Joseph girls, led by 2011 state meet qualifier Beth Rigali, will be the first local team racing. The Knights are scheduled to go at 7:54 a.m. in the first girls Division 5 heat.

Arroyo Grande’s boys squad, a team on a roll lately, will have another early morning race. The PAC 7 League champions will go at 8:43 a.m. in the third heat of Division 2. Righetti’s boys will race at 9:10 a.m. in the next Division 2 heat.

Los Padres League individual champion Jacob Carey will lead the Santa Ynez boys into the first heat of Division 4. Alex Hascall of Nipomo will race as an individual in Division 4. PAC 7 individual champ Jocelyn Reynolds will lead the Arroyo Grande girls into the third heat of Division 3.

St. Joseph’s boys will race in the first heat of Division 5. Nick Murillo of Orcutt Academy will race as an individual in that division. LPL individual champ Kyra Meko will lead Nipomo’s girls into the first heat of Division 4.

The Lompoc and Cabrillo boys teams will each race in the first heat of Division 3. Lompoc’s girls will be the last area team to race, at 2:43 p.m., in the first heat of Division 3. McKell Davis and Autumn Hersey of Cabrillo will races as individuals in Division 3.

Congratulations to all these area teams and individuals. It’s been a long grind. Being a former cc runner, I know.


Speaking of cross country running: Arroyo Grande native Jordan Hasay, a University of Oregon senior now, will help lead  the Ducks into the NCAA Women’s West Regional Meet in Seattle. The race is set to start at 12 p.m. today

Friday night lights: There’s a special feeling to the prep football post-season, and three area 11-man football squads - St. Joseph, Arroyo Grande and Lompoc - have that special feeling this year.

They all have home games that kick off at 7 p.m. Arroyo Grande bid farewell to the CIF Southern Section Western Division last year by winning the division title.

Lompoc said good-bye to the Northwest Division in 2011 by repeating as division champ. Arroyo Grande and Lompoc are in the Northern Division and Western Division respectively this year. St. Joseph, which plays in the Northern Division, is in the playoffs for the first time since joining the PAC 7 League in 2010.

Valley Christian will play two-time Division 2 champion Yucca Valley Joshua Springs in an eight-man Division 2 second-round game at 1 p.m. Saturday at VCA.

Good luck to all four teams.


Looks like a deceptive 4-6: Yes, La Canada St. Francis, Lompoc’s first-round opponent has a sub-.500 record. Yes, the Golden Knights finished fifth in the Mission League. However, the Mission League is traditionally one of the tougher leagues in the Southern Section.

Lompoc shapes up as the favorite but this one doesn’t shape up as a cakewalk for the Braves, who blasted through their Los Padres League competition this year and will go after their 31st straight win tonight.


Reasonable minds had better prevail. Fast: The sides in the NHL labor dispute are meeting yet again to try to settle their differences as a significant part of the early season, along with potential TV revenue, has already disappeared.