Paso Robles and San Luis Obispo ran away with top varsity honors at the PAC 8 League Mid Season Meet at the Unocal Events Center Thursday.
The Bearcats boys and Tigers girls claimed team cross country titles at the meet St. Joseph hosted. Meanwhile, Paso Robles senior Ashley Davis and San Luis Obispo junior Callum Bolger ran to runaway wins on a course that was just short of 5K.
The Paso Robles boys scored a decisive win, with 36 points to second-place Arroyo Grande's 58. Luis Armenadariz, Trad Berti and Gannon Chamberlain finished 3-4-5 for Paso Robles, and that lifted the Bearcats to the team title.
The San Luis Obispo and Arroyo Grande girls both scored 46 points, but the Tigers prevailed thanks to their Cindy Miettinen (19th place) having the better finish between the teams' sixth runners.
The top five runners on each cross country team score, but the sixth runner for a team can figure into a tiebreaker.
Davis won in 18 minutes, 33 seconds. Runner-up Kiana Kawatachi of St. Joseph finished second in 18:59. Bolger broke away late after dueling with Arroyo Grande junior Christian Ricketts. Bolger ran 15:04, Ricketts 15:14.
Most of the league mid-season meets and finals in recent years have been held at the Fairbanks Course just outside of San Luis Obispo.
"I like the Fairbanks course better because of the steep hills, but this course was fine," said Ricketts, whose father, Sean, coaches the Arroyo Grande boys.
"Overall, I was satisfied with the result. I hope for a better result down the road." Several area teams, including Arroyo Grande, will be at the prestigious Mt. SAC Invitational at Mount San Antonio College in Walnut.
Righetti's boys finished a solid third with 88 points Thursday. Sean Morley led the Warriors witha sixth-place finish.
The top four league teams in the final standings will earn berths in the CIF Southern Section Preliminaries. San Luis Obispo finished fourth with 99 points Thursday.
St. Joseph was fifth in the eight-team field with 117 points. Pioneer Valley was seventh with 181.
Atascadero's girls placed third with 72 points Thursday. Paso Robles was fourth with 78. Righetti (141), St. Joseph (144) and Pioneer Valley (188) finished fifth, sixth and seventh respectively.
Kawatachi hung tough despite straining a gluteal muscle late in the race.
"I strained it at two miles," said Kawatachi. "If I didn't strain it, I think I could have stayed closer longer.
"Overall, I was pretty happy with how I finished. I'll try to rest for a little bit. The team is really looking toward the Mt. SAC meet."
Brittni Frace of Atascadero finished third in the varsity girls race Thursday. Hope Morgan of San Luis Obispo (fourth place) and Malia Simon of Arroyo Grande (fifth) rounded out the top five.
Defending league champion Leza Cassidy of Arroyo Grande has had a big season. The senior settled for 10th place Thursday.
"Leza wasn't feeling tired," said Arroyo Grande coach Dan Smith. "She focused on running with the pack so she would have more left in the tank.
"I thought the meet went well. We focused on running in a pack."
Freshman Joseph Domingues Jr. led the St. Joseph boys with an 11th-place finish. John Gutierrez (18th) paced Pioneer Valley.
Mari Perez and Erika Robles tied for 20th place. They were the top Righetti varsity girls runners. Alina Delabra (23rd) led Pioneer Valley.
The PAC 8 League finals will take place at 2 p.m. Nov. 5 at the Fairbanks Course.
Lompoc 9, Cabrillo 9 (Lompoc 83, Cabrillo 81 in games)
Lompoc beat Cabrillo by a dramatically slim margin on Thursday in a rivalry match of even greater importance because of the close race for second behind Santa Ynez in the Los Padres League.
The Braves’ 83-81 win at Cabrillo completed a regular season sweep of the Conqs after none of the current Lompoc players had beaten their crosstown rivals in their prep careers.
As expected in such a close match, there were several critical sets.
Lompoc’s Erica Gracyk, the team’s No. 1 singles player, beat Sierra Hohimer, one of the best singles players in the area, 7-5 in her first set of the day. Gracyk only lost three games in the next two sets to secure the only three singles wins for the Braves.
“It’s fun to watch,” said Marjie Ledgerwood, Lompoc head coach. “They were hitting the ball pretty well.”
The doubles teams have led both Lompoc and Cabrillo this season and both squads flexed their depth in the match.
The Conqs’ Chrissy Hedges and Natalie Kovach and Lompoc’s Edith Elenes and Genesis Garza are two of the top doubles pairings in the league and the area. But Hedges and Kovach got the pulled away for the 6-3 win in what may have been a crippling loss for the Braves.
Except Vanessa Ochoa and Angelica Perez, Lompoc’s No. 3 doubles, shocked Hedges and Kovach with a 6-4 win.
“That was a big key in the match for us,” Ledgerwood said. “There were so many things that could have gone differently.”
“The kids were really excited about the win. They were pretty emotional after and were blowing up my phone in group chat.”
Arroyo Grande 16, Paso Robles 2
The Eagles (14-2, 11-0) won easily at home, subbing liberally and winning all nine doubles sets.
Erika Egg, one Arroyo Grande starter who played all three sets, swept all three and dropped just two games. Mary Waterman did not drop a game during the two singles sets she played.
Tandems Jillian Burns and Emma Mostajo, Josephine Graeber and Lauren Midyett, and Casey Lieberman and Renee Whalen all won two doubles sets before the Eagles started subbing. Burns won with Emily Canigiula, Graeber won with Carissa Schaefer, and Lieberman won with Tahlia Wahlbrecht.
Santa Ynez 11, Orcutt Academy 7
The Pirates (14-2, 11-0) took a big step toward another league title, defeating the second-place Spartans (9-2 LPL) at Santa Ynez.
Mary Kavaloski and Courtney Welker propelled the Pirates to the win. They each swept three singles sets. Kavaloski lost just three games. Welker won a tough 7-5 set against Allison Fense, Orcutt Academy's No. 3 player.
As they did the last time the teams played, the Spartans won five sets. Amanda Hsiung and Keona Pablo won twice. Sarah Lopez won once with Kelsey Namba and once with Naomi Kwon.
Morro Bay 16, Nipomo 2
Gaila Relandini and Leowe Koch, exchange students from Europe, each swept three singles sets as the Pirates rolled to a Los Padres League win.
Julia Johnson won a singles set, and Nayessa Perez and Makenna Gillespie won a doubles set for the Titans (1-10 LPL).
Orcutt Academy 3, Santa Maria 0
The Spartans (5-4 Los Padres League) swept the Saints 25-22, 5-17, 25-17 in a league match at Orcutt Middle School.
Chandler Alvino racked up 10 kills for Orcutt. Jessie Jin amassed six kills, three service aces and two digs. Jerelin Lindsay added six digs and five aces.
Santa Ynez 3, Nipomo 0
Belen Buenrostro racked up 28 assists and the Pirates swept the Titans 25-19, 25-10, 25-16 in a Los Padres League match at Santa Ynez.
"Belen really distributed the ball well to our hitters tonight," Santa Ynez coach Chip Fenenga said after his team moved to 16-4, 7-2.
"We got out to a 10-0 lead in the second set, and that really helped our kids' confidence after a close first set. Belen was a big part of that."
Cassidy Hamer had seven kills for the Pirates. Brynn Fieldhouse added four kills and four blocks.
Arroyo Grande sets record in tournament win
Arroyo Grande’s top trio of golfers continues to excel -- and the rest of the squad isn’t too shabby, either -- and the Eagles won a PAC-8 girls golf tournament on Thursday at Black Lake.
Arroyo Grande set a school record for low team score for the second time this year with a 203-shot performance on the par-34 course. Delanie Dunkle won the individual medal with a 36 while teammates Vanessa Watkins (37) and Kinsey McBryde (39) posted their typical sub-40 scores.
Emily Whitehead posted a 45 and Madi Snow a 46 to finish the scoring for the Eagles.
Mission Prep’s Sydney Haughian (38) and San Luis Obispo’s Lisa Figueroa (39) were the only other golfers to post scores under 40. Righetti’s Sarah Fouratt shot a 40.
Figueroa and her fellow Tigers finished second with 226 shots. Atascadero was third with 236, followed by: Paso Robles 242, Righetti 247 and Pioneer Valley 303.