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By Chuck Woolrich, 11/10/18, 4:30PM PST


Varsity Girls Outrun Mats to Complete Perfect League Meet; Roberts Saves JV

In the final event of the 2018 Diablo Athletic League championships, Paloma Hancock (20) led her squad through unseasonably warm conditions on the Hidden Valley Park 3-mile course.

Among the 13-team field was Miramonte, a familiar opponent. Running its complete lineup for the 1st time all season against the defending champion Cougars, the Matadors looked committed to finally knocking off their cross-town rivals. 

Miramonte had an impressive start, clustering 4 athletes in the front group through 800 meters. However, as Concord's Reyna Stanziano built her lead over the field through the mile mark, Hancock and teammate Alicia Hober (20) seemed determined to stick with the chase pack.

In fact, it was Miramonte's Jamie Say who 1st began to fade from the group as the rugged terrain took its toll in the middle mile. The Mat's spirited opening effort further unravelled when Ellie Guthrie (20) and Sophie Webster (21) overtook the their 4th scorer as the field navigated Jackrabbit Loop.

By the time the race crossed the double bridges, Audrey Allen was the only green jersey still holding an advantage over her Campolindo counterpart. That advantage disappeared in the few seconds it took for Hancock and Hober to ascend Finale Hill.

The duo bounded down the back side, and clear of Allen. Moments later Hancock streaked passed cheering parents and teammates to land runner-up honors while Hober secured the 3rd overall finish place 7 seconds later. 

Bianca Chao (19) capped the scoring for her squad in 19th place, 5 scoring positions ahead of Miramonte's 5th runner.

The varsity girls' triumph finished off a string of impressive team victories that began hours earlier with a dominating performance from the frosh soph boys. Owen Lekki (21) held off his hard-charging teammate, Sam Smith (22), to take the individual win while Finn Jordan (22) and Evan Yabu (21) also cracked the top 10.

Alan Pierrat (21) finished just 1 spot away from an all-league selection in 11th place. His 12:08 personal best on the course was a 1 minute and 27 second improvement over his 2017 championship performance.

The frosh soph girls equaled the frosh soph boys' feat, garnering 4 all-league selections of their own. Sarah Bertentopped the list with her individual victory in 13:56. Meanwhile, Noelani Baliwag (22) made the biggest gains of the day with a 1:42 improvement over her previous 2-mile record.

While the junior varsity boys returned to their invincible ways by placing 5 scorers in the top 10, the junior varsity girls overcame a back-and-forth battle with Northgate to narrowly claim the league crown. Sydney Roberts (21), a late call up from the frosh soph roster, proved the difference maker for the squad with a clutch 13th place finish in the 4th scoring position.

In the same race, Katie Strohmeyer (21) cranked out another big improvement, finishing in 16:28 to top her 2017 championship time by 1 minute and 22 seconds. 

The penultimate race of the day featured a fantastic pack margin of just 35 seconds between front runner Edward Buckley (19) and 5th-man Cameron Iniguez-Reyes (19). The favored varsity boys placed all 5 scorers in the top 10 to outdistance 2nd-place Las Lomas by 32 points.

Dylan Cronin (20) improved over his previous DAL Championship performance by 16 seconds.

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