The San Marcos boys and girls varsity cross country squads ran away with their accustomed team titles at the Santa Barbara County Meet at River Park in Lompoc Thursday.
Meanwhile, the Santa Maria varsity boys finished second, their best finish at a county meet at least in recent memory.
"Santa Maria really showed up today. That was good to see," said San Marcos senior Jason Peterson. Peterson won the varsity boys race in 15 minutes, 52.67 seconds over the mostly flat, three-mile course. Teammate Ty Burre finished second in 15:55.48.
Senior Cesar Ayuso led Santa Maria with a third-place finish in 15:59.51.
"I was 20th, or something like that, at this meet last year," said Ayuso. "With all those runners, it felt good to finish third."
The San Marcos boys scored 19 points. Santa Maria scored 60 and Dos Pueblos finished third with 124.
Pioneer Valley finished fourth in the 14-team field with 139 points. Cabrillo was sixth with 186 points, Orcutt Academy was seventh with 191, Righetti finished eighth with 205, Lompoc was 10th with 243 and St. Joseph, minus junior Joseph Domingues Jr. who has won at several meets this year, was last with 352.
Perhaps because league meets are next week, some standout runners, including Santa Ynez senior Emily Donahue, were not at the county meet. No Santa Ynez teams were there. Orcutt Academy's girls, according to Orcutt boys coach Mark Tosches, did not have enough runners to score.
San Marcos sophomore Madi Funk won the varsity girls race going away, in 18:00.38. Teammates Kaela Cleary and Mya Adornatto were second and third respectively, in 18:18.17 and 19:14.65.
The San Marcos girls scored 28 points. Dos Pueblos was second with 55, and Pioneer Valley was third with 60. Cabrillo was fifth in the eight-team field with 135 points, Lompoc was sixth with 143 and Santa Maria was seventh with 180.
Peterson and Funk are both first-time winners at the county meet. Neither one said they had a specific goal beforehand of winning, but they were definitely happy with that result.
"I wanted to beat my time on this course, and break 18 minutes," said Funk. She accomplished the first goal and nearly accomplished the second.
Peterson said, "My goal is to win as many races as I can. This was my third win this year, so that was nice.
"The sportsmanship among the runners was excellent. There was no pushing or shoving this time, no name-calling."
Pioneer Valley senior Sujey Montano was a happy fifth-place finisher Thursday. She was the top girls varsity finisher among the North County girls varsity runners.
"I'm very happy with finishing fifth," she said.
"I really like this course. It pushes me to do well, with all these fantastic runners and competitors who are in the race."
Runners ran in warm, slightly breezy conditions. The weather was nothing like the record-setting heat that baked much of the area the past three days.
"The conditions were ideal," said Peterson.
The top 20 finishers in each race medaled. Osvaldo Espinoza of Cabrillo won the boys frosh soph race in 17:20.65. Santa Maria won the boys junior varsity team title with 50 points.
Sara Saib of Dos Pueblos won the girls junior varsity race in 19:44.07. San Marcos won the girls JV team title with 30 points.
Dunkle wins at PAC 8 Finals
Arroyo Grande's Delanie Dunkle won the singles championship at the PAC 8 League Finals on Thursday, held in Paso Robles.
Dunkle defeated San Luis Obispo's Lauren Ramirez 6-0 and 6-0 in the semifinals and Maddy Ferreros, also of LO, 6-3 and 6-1 in the finals.
Ferreros defeated Arroyo Grande's Erika Egg 6-1 and 6-0 in that semifinal.
Egg won the third-place match over Ramirez, 8-4, and goes down as the alternate for the CIF Section Tournament next month.
Dunkle is 14-2 in sets on the year after battling through an injury earlier in the season.
Atascadero's Nicoline and Anneline Breytenbach won the doubles championship, defeated Peyton Dunkle and partner Emma Mostajo, of Arroyo Grande, 6-4 and 6-4.
Mostajo and Dunkle were the top seed on the doubles bracket.
Dunkle and Mostajo defeated teammates Lily Bickmore and Bella Waterman 6-3 and 6-3 in the semis.
The Breytenbachs defeated Casey Lieberman and partner Christina Atherman 6-2, 6-2 in the semifinals.
Los Padres League Tournament
The top seeds eased into the semifinals in action at Hancock College and the Minami Center Thursday.
Semifinals and championship matches will take place Friday at the Santa Maria Country Club. Semis are scheduled to start at 12 p.m.
Orcutt Academy's Megan Vise went 38-1 in LPL play during the regular season. She will face teammate Kayla Pablo in one semifinal. Sierra Hohimer of Cabrillo, the only LPL player to defeat Vise this year, will take on Julia Johnson of Nipomo in the other semi.
Keona Pablo and Jana Andrade of Orcutt Academy went 38-0 during the LPL regular season. They will face Cabrillo's Paris Wynne and Karley Atkin in one doubles semiifinal. Karly Kovach and Alyssa Murray of Cabrillo will face Nipomo's Taylor Kaiser and Sarah Hickenbottom in the other.
Singles and doubles finalists will earn automatic spots in the CIF Southern Section Individual Tournament. Third-place finishers will be alternates.
This is the last LPL tournament before some of the league schools move to the CIF's Central Section for the 2018-19 school year.
Orcutt Academy went 14-0 in the LPL this year and won the team LPL championship for the second straight year. Cabrillo finished second.