Capistrano Valley's Ashley Licata, middle, and Haley Herberg, right, lead the pack during the South Coast League Finals aon Tuesday. Licata won the race in 17:04, which was a school record.

Dana Hills girls add South Coast title to growing collection


ORANGE – The South Coast League has provided a revolving door of candidates for Orange County girls cross country supremacy this year.

At last, a team seems to be pulling away from the pack.

Dana Hills turned in a tremendous performance at the South Coast League Finals on Tuesday to win the title at Irvine Regional Park. The top-ranked Dolphins defeated second-ranked Trabuco Hills, 32-55.

Camille Perkins, Kathryn Kaloroumakis, Sienna Serrao, Lauren Soto and Jennifer Daly all placed in the top 10 for the Dolphins as they backed up their strong recent showing at the Mt. SAC Invitational.

“We didn’t have a lot of frontrunners, so we needed to make our bottom half catch up to our other half,” Dolphins coach Chris Cota said. “We knew if we could get our gap closed, we would be able to compete.”

Entering the race, three teams - Dana Hills, Trabuco Hills, and Capistrano Valley - still had a shot at the league crown. Each had possessed the No. 1 spot in the county at some point this season.

“It seems not fair, compared to the other leagues, because we’re always battling each other,” Cota added. “I think that’s what made us stronger.”

The third-ranked Cougars (63 points) had the top two runners in Ashley Licata and Haley Herberg. Licata set a Capistrano Valley school record with her winning time of 17:04.

“I haven’t done that great at this course,” said Licata, who finished seventh at last year’s league finals. “I was very happy to finish strong and get our school record.”

Mason Coppi, who last week committed to Furman University, placed first in 14:43 to lead the Dana Hills boys to their fourth straight league championship. Jake Ogden, Jack Landgraf, Colin Stein and Brandon Hough also finished in the top eight for the Dolphins.

“It’s kind of mind-blowing to be here,” Coppi said. “It’s a real big honor, but mostly, I’m just out here running for my team.”

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