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Cross Country: Breakers among elite at state meet

Laguna Beach boys' and girls' teams both finish second at CIF State Championships in Fresno.

December 05, 2013|By Mike Sciacca

A season-long goal came to fruition Saturday for the Laguna Beach High girls' and boys' cross-country teams.

The Breakers had set their sights on reaching the CIF State Championships in Fresno, and both teams achieved that goal. Both, also, wanted to make the podium, a spot reserved for the top-finishing teams in each division at State.

The Breakers can put a check mark in that box, as well.

Both Laguna teams ran to a runner-up State finish in the Division 4 final, each earning second place and a coveted trophy presentation spot on the podium at Woodward Park. The Laguna girls finished second behind San Lorenzo Valley. The Laguna boys' team was only behind Yreka.

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Both teams were the top-placing CIF Southern Section teams at State.

The top three teams in both the girls' and boys' race made the podium Saturday.

GIRLS

Saturday marked the first time the girls team had reached the podium at the State meet, Coach Steve Lalim said.

"The team set two goals coming into the season," he said. "One, qualify to State. Two, podium. We achieved both goals. It was a very successful season, one I will never forget. Thanks, girls."

Laguna turned in a total team time of 1 hour, 39 minutes, 46 seconds, and finished with 189 points. San Lorenzo Valley took the division title with a team time of 1:34.13 and had a low-best 86 points. Junior Breanna Merchant was the top finisher for Laguna with a time of 19:29, good for 33rd. Following Merchant were juniors Natalie Kimball (19:37, 38th) and Janie Crawford (19:53, 51st), freshman Kirsten Landseidel (20:21, 74th), senior Eliza Romero (20:26, 78th), sophomore Pearl Shoemaker (20:31, 84th), and freshman Greer Jacobs (20:45, 101st).

"It was a great day," Lalim said of Saturday's final. "The girls really ran well and put themselves into a position to be successful. We knew going in we had a shot at the podium, but had to run strong to do it. The girls did everything they could, and achieved our season long goal of getting on the podium. I'm super proud of the girls for their accomplishments. They've earned it.

"We train hard all year to put ourselves in a position to be successful at the end of the year when we reach the championship season. Hard work pays off."

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