Randy Angel

Mira Costa runners place in top ten at CIF State Cross Country Championships

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Mira Costa senior Xavier Court capped off his prep cross country career with a 6th-place finish at the CIF State Championships in Fresno. Photos by Damian Court

by Randy Angel

Using a late burst of speed, Mira Costa’s Xavier Court out-kicked four other runners in the final quarter mile to place sixth in the boys Division 1 race at the CIF State Cross Country Championships held Saturday in Fresno

Court, who earned an individual invitation with an 8th-place finish at the CIF-SS finals, finished with time of 15 minutes, 19.0 seconds, vastly improving his time from last year’s meet when he ran a 15:30.7 to place 8th in Division 2.

El Camino Real’s Justin Hazell ran away with this year’s individual title with a time of 15:03.8

“The race was fast and competitive. There were many talented runners in the field,” Court said. “Although I intended to break 15 minutes on the state course, I am still content with the time I ran and place I finished. Leading up to the race, I followed my coach’s plan step for step and did everything in my power to ensure I was at my best potential come race day.”

Court will compete in the Footlocker West Regionals at Mt SAC this weekend in hopes of making the national team.

Mira Costa’s girls earned an eighth-place finish in the Division I race, led by junior Olivia Hacohen (36th, 18:45.9) and sophomore Lucy Atkinson (47th, 18:55.1).

Also running for the Mustangs were junior Brooke Inouye (65th, 19:07.9), sophomore Pnina Tofler (103rd, 19:37.1), and senior Seryne Azafrani (122nd, 19:56.8) who replaced Carmen Mel, along with sophomores Cara Chittenden (131st, 20:02.8) and Tia Pappas (132nd, 20:03.3).

Great Oak’s girls team continued to dominate opponents, capturing the State Division 1 title by 32 points over Vista Murrieta, the same school they outran by 82 points the previous week to win the CIF-Southern Section Division 1 championship.

Junior Olivia Hacohen led Mira Costa’s girls team to an 8th-place finish in the State Division 1 competition.

In Division 3, South Bay teams had strong performances led by West’s boys team, which  claimed its first State title.

The Warriors were led by Rory Abberton (7th, 15:53.0), Caleb Terrill (8th, 15:54.3) and Ike Tamanaha (18th, 16:09.3).

Palos Verdes finished fourth with Ian Irish (16:19.2) and Wade Nygren (16:23.4) finishing 24th and 29th, respectively.

Palos Verdes’ defending champion girls team placed fourth, paced by Samantha Steman (4th, 18:16.3) and Grace Catena (8th, 18:31.8).

West Torrance placed 11th just ahead of 12th-place South Torrance.

In Division IV, El Segundo’s girls team finished seventh, led by James Matlosz (13th) who set a school record with a time of 18:46.3.

Garrett Rifkin (52st, 16:47.9) led the Eagles’ boys team.

Complete results are available at CIFState.org.

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