Southern California powers Simi Valley and Rancho Cucamonga solidified their standing on the national stage at the weekend’s 64th annual Mt. Sac Cross Country Invitational.
Simi Valley, currently the top-ranked Division II team in the state, staked claim as California’s best with a dominating 50 point victory over second place La Costa Canyon. Xavier College Prep of Arizona narrowly edged out Great Oak for third place.
The Pioneers were led by individual champ Sarah Baxter who claimed a 32 second win over Sarah Fakler of Xavier in 16 minutes, 59 seconds, the fastest time of the weekend. Accomplished track runner Cami Chapus of Harvard-Westlake was third. After a groundbreaking freshman year, Baxter has dealt with injuries this fall with Mt. Sac being just her second race of the season.
A day earlier, Karlie Garcia of Oakmont won the girls Division III sweepstakes race in 17 minutes, 1 second, just two seconds off Baxter’s mark.
Rancho Cucamonga took down many of the nation’s top squads including second-place Arcadia and established itself as an NXN title contender on its way 44 point win in the boys sweepstakes races. Golden Valley was third, establishing them as the Division II favorite for state.
Darren Fahy of La Costa Canyon continued his winning ways in 2011 with a 14 minute, 41 second clocking and eight second victory over Arcadia’s Sergio Gonzalez. Kristian Martinez of Golden Valley led his team in third.