“To see the girls run under control and finish second in our heat was a delight,” he said. “The girls have been doing everything right this season and these last two races of the season will be a thrill for all in attendance.
“These girls have a great opportunity to finish this season with a championship performance. They know what it takes and they just have to put the pieces together.”
The 13 teams to advance to the Division IV final are Laguna Beach, Oaks Christian, Morro Bay, Flintridge/Sacred Heart, JSerra, La Reina, Harvard-Westlake, Norte Dame (Sherman Oaks), Templeton, Paraclete, St. Joseph (Santa Maria), Maranatha and Louisville.
Seven teams qualify from the section final for the CIF State meet that will be Thanksgiving weekend at Woodward Park in Fresno.
Laguna’s finals race is at 9:45 a.m. Saturday.
“The girls have a legitimate chance of standing on the podium, the top two at CIF finals, this year,” Towner said. “The position will be determined by how well they run their race tactics and compete as a team for each other.”
Laguna’s team ladder at the CIF Div. IV prelims (place, name and time): 5. Parker Yamasaki, 20:07; 8. Maggie Newton-Neal, 20:19; 15. Camille Borges, 20:36; 17. Kativa Strickland, 20:39; 20. Heather Thomas, 20:44; 22. Taylor Capobianco, 20:53; 38. Melissa Lenker, 21:59.
Laguna’s team time was 1:42.45, the fifth fastest in Division IV, Towner said.
Coach Dave Brobeck held both his league champion and No. 5 runners out of the Division IV prelims race but Laguna still had enough to finish second in its heat and move on to Saturday’s final. Two prelims heats where held with 13 teams competing in each heat.
The top six teams from each heat advance to Saturday’s finals.
“CIF prelims went very well,” Brobeck said. “No hitches is what you want here, and no hitches is what we got. There is also a bit more strategy in this race. You don’t want to show all your cards to the competition.