Maria Carrillo sweeps NBL cross country titles

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Both the Maria Carrillo girls and boys cross country teams took the coveted team titles, sweeping all divisions in the North Bay League championship meet Friday afternoon at Spring Lake.

“They were patient and controlled and executed our race plan really well,” Maria Carrillo cross country head coach Gregg Fogg said. “The boys and girls have really put it together the last few races. Almost everybody PR’d today.”

Santa Rosa senior Delaney White raced to her fourth consecutive first-place finish in the NBL girls cross country championship, as she recorded a time of 17 minutes, 30 seconds.

Maria Carrillo’s balance in the girls race was evident. All seven of the Pumas’ girls finished under 20 minutes while combining for their 13th consecutive NBL title, while the boys notched their 10th title in 13 years.

“Both teams ran the ninth-fastest times in school history, and we’ve had some good teams,” Fogg said. “We had some really nice performances by the younger kids so it looks like we can keep this going, too.”

In the girls race, White was followed by Casa Grande’s Adria Burch, who’s goal to finish under 18 minutes was achieved when she finished in second place with a time of 17:57.

“She (Burch) was fantastic and she was really, really happy with herself,” Casa Grande head coach Carl Triola said. “Delaney is awesome, but Adria set her goal all year and she really came through.”

Cardinal Newman’s Kasey Braun finished in third place with a time of 18:43.

Santa Rosa junior Daniel Pride took the top individual spot for the boys, finishing the 3.05-mile course with a time of 15:20, followed closely by his teammate Luca Mazzanti finishing with a time of 15:41.

Pride can add NBL champion to his collection of successes in his junior year, including the Rancho Cotate Invitational and Montgomery’s Viking Opener earlier this season.

White, Pride and Mazzanti all helped lead the way to a second-place team finish for both the Panthers girls and boys teams.

“Santa Rosa has provided such great competition for us this season,” Fogg said, “and I can only thank them for pushing us as much as they did.”

Maria Carrillo’s Carson Kimbell finished in the third spot after the Santa Rosa duo with a time of 15:52, which was a personal record for the Puma runner.

“He has continued to just really excel,” Fogg said. “He’s still discovering how good he can be.”

Casa Grande’s senior and 2014 All-Empire Cross Country Runner of the Year Matt Salazar finished less than a minute after Pride, after battling a hamstring issue throughout the course.

His time of 16:02 was enough for a fifth place finish.

“We have been trying to ease him back a little bit, so he hasn’t been doing the same workouts,” Triola said. “By anyone else’s standards he put up a good time, but he ran better today than he has in a while and now he can get better for NCS.”

Maria Carrillo’s Jordan Scobey also has been pulling back to help heal an injury and finished in sixth place with a time of 16:10.

The next step for cross country in the Redwood Empire is the North Coast Section finals on Nov. 21 in Hayward, before they step onto the bigger course for the CIF state meet on Nov. 28 in Fresno.

Santa Rosa runners will be in Division I, while Casa Grande will look to finish strong in the team competition in Division II, Triola said, and qualify as a team for the state meet.

“Qualifying for state is a priority,” he added, “but I know we’d love to get the teams there, as well. It’s going to take a strong effort, but it’s definitely possible.”

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