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NICK AGRO , STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
Los Alamitos sprinter Ashley Willingham and teammates start the season ranked No. 3 in Orange County. The Griffins are the defending Orange County champions.

Girls track preview: O.C. top 10

CONTRIBUTING WRITER

The Register’s season-opening Orange County top 10 for girls track and field.

O.C. TOP 10

1T. Mission Viejo: The Orange County Championships runner-ups come back with another deep-and-talented roster. Kennedy Gillian is a whirlwind sprinter and the Diablos return two senior All-County throwers in Emma DeSilva and Ciera Williams.

1T. Santa Margarita: The Eagles return with the same strengths that helped them to capture last year’s CIF-SS Division 3 title. Kate Thomas takes the lead in pole vault, and the Eagles already have the county’s top times in both relays through the first two weeks. Santa Margarita is the favorite to win the Trinity League, but it will be close with Mater Dei.

3. Los Alamitos: Last year’s Orange County champions remain a threat to score across the board. Sprinter Ashley Willingham leads the way. All-around athletes are always valuable, and Brooke Anger is one of them.

GIRLS TRACK PREVIEW

4. Mater Dei: Kelli Godin’s emergence as a top sprinter greatly enhances the Monarchs’ chances of winning county and CIF titles. State pole vault finalist McKenna Caskey and jumps specialist Dominique Ruotolo make Mater Dei one of the better field teams.

5. Canyon: Senior Alexis Turley-Young and junior Rachel Baxter form the best 1-2 punch in the county. The duo can score points for the Comanches in up to seven events.

6. Dana Hills: Claire Kao was a state qualifier in the pole vault. The perenially strong distance program brings back Sienna Serrao and Kathryn Kaloroumakis. Jennifer Daly adds a new hope in mid-distance.

7. Newport Harbor: The Sailors sported a great tandem in the hurdles last year. With the graduation of Hope Bender, the county’s 300 hurdles record holder, Newport Harbor turns to Emma Kratzberg to lead on the track.

8. Esperanza: Shannon Mac Kellar and Sapna Dholakia are ready to lead the distance team following their CIF-SS Division 3 championship in cross country. Amanda Truong will be among the county’s top discus throwers.

9. Fountain Valley: Davina Pham and Courtnee Moreno hope to hurdle all obstacles in their way. The Barons are one of several good teams in the Sunset League.

10. Tesoro: Defending state 1,600 meters champion Amanda Gehrich is as close as it gets to a guaranteed victory in the distance events. The Titans hope to surround her with enough talent to pursue the Sea View League crown. Lauren McLeese has started out strong in the sprints.

Also receiving votes: El Toro, Aliso Niguel, Huntington Beach


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