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ANA VENEGAS , STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
Tesoro's Amanda Gehrich, center, leads the selections for the Register's All-County girls cross country team. Also seleced were, from left, Shannon Mac Kellar of of Ezperanza, Stefanie Ortega of Segerstrom, Lucina Vincent of El Dorado, Ashley Licata of Capistrano Valley, Sara Leonard of Canyon, Nikki Zielinski of Canyon, Sapna Dholakia of Esperanza and Haley Herberg of Capistrano Valley.

All-County girls cross country: First team

CONTRIBUTING WRITER

The Register’s All-County girls cross country first team for 2015.

FIRST TEAM

Amanda Gehrich, Tesoro, Sr.

The Register’s athlete of the year. Read about Gehrich.

Sapna Dholakia, Esperanza, Jr.

She formed a consistent 1-2 punch with Shannon Mac Kellar atop the Aztecs’ lineup. The junior placed seventh as Esperanza won the Division 3 race at CIF-SS Finals. She was fourth at the Crestview League Finals and 19th at the state meet.

Haley Herberg, Capistrano Valley, So.

She helped the Cougars to their fourth straight state meet appearance. Herberg stood out in a strong South Coast League, winning the preview meet and finishing second in the finals. Herberg was 11th at the CIF-SS Division 2 Finals and placed ninth at the state meet.

Ashley Licata, Capistrano Valley, Sr.

She was the top runner on a team that finished as the county’s No. 1 team for the third straight season. She was the runner-up at the Orange County Championships, 13th at the CIF-SS Division 2 Finals and 15th at state. Licata set a school record in posting a time of 17:04 to win at the South Coast League Finals. She will join forces with Amanda Gehrich at the University of Utah.

Sara Leonard, Canyon, So.

One of the top sophomores in the state, Leonard helped propel the Comanches to a Crestview League title with her second-place showing. She finished strong, placing third at the CIF-SS Prelims in Division 2 and 14th at the state meet. Leonard was third at the Cool Breeze Invite.

Shannon Mac Kellar, Esperanza, Jr.

Led the Aztecs to their first CIF-SS title since 1996 by placing fourth in the Division 3 race. She won at the Clovis Invitational, placed third at the Crestview League Finals, and was 15th at state. She added top-five finishes at the Laguna Hills, Woodbridge and Mt. SAC invites.

Stefanie Ortega, Segerstrom, Sr.

Finished 10th in the state meet and seventh in CIF-SS Division 2 Finals. She was strong throughout, taking titles at the Santa Ana City Meet and the Golden West League Finals. The three-time league champion was third at Orange County Championships.

Lucina Vincent, El Dorado, So.

The sophomore finished 18th in the state meet after qualifying individually with a fifth-place showing in the CIF-SS Division 3 Finals. She won the Small Schools varsity race at the Orange County Championships in 17:41 (seventh overall). She set a personal best of 17:31 while finishing second at the North Hills League Finals, and added grade-level titles at the Mt. SAC and Pat Hadley invites.

Nikki Zielinski, Canyon, Sr.

The Washington-bound senior was the Crestview League champion, setting a Yorba Regional Park course record with a time of 16:52. She placed third at the CIF-SS Division 2 Finals, fourth at Orange County Championships, sixth at state and seventh at the Foot Locker West Regional to qualify for the national meet, where she finished 25th.

The Register’s All-County teams were selected using a combination of reporter observations and coaches’ input.

2015 All-County girls cross country:

Girls cross country athlete of the year: Amanda Gehrich, Tesoro

Girls cross country coach of the year: Rich Medellin, Esperanza

All-County girls cross country: Second team


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