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ZACH CAVANAGH, CONTRIBUTOR
Capistrano Valley's Richard Kuciemba and El Toro's Hannah Torbin.

Laguna Hills girls much happier with Sea View League finals results

CONTRIBUTING WRITER

It’s amazing what a month can do.

After finishing last at the Sea View League preview meet on Oct. 4, the Laguna Hills girls cross country learned its lesson and bounced back for a second-place finish in the Sea View League finals on Tuesday at Irvine Regional Park in Orange.

“(After the preview,) I pulled the girls aside,” Laguna Hills coach Chris Lynch said, “and said, ‘we’ve got a month, but a lot can happen. Get back and get to work and try again.’”

The Hawks had four runners in the top 10 - seventh, eighth, ninth and 10th - Tuesday. Maya Williams, Lauren Turner, Mckenna Rinke and Claire Selleck earned all-league selections with their top-10 finishes.

“It’s a young team,” Lynch said. “Only (Rinke) is a senior and two-time state finalist. She’s having an off year, but I challenged her to take this team under her wing. That preview meet was their first real shock.”

Laguna Hills had already qualified for the CIF Prelims as an at-large team, but it receives an automatic berth for its second-place finish.

El Toro, which also had already qualified as an at-large team, earned an automatic spot by capturing the league team title, 33-54 over Laguna Hills.

Notebook: League finals wrap-up and schedule

Hannah Tobin again paced the Chargers with a first-place time of 17:23.1, which gave her a 23-second margin of victory. She qualified for CIF for the third consecutive year.

“I took it out a little harder than I wanted to, but it’s a downhill start (on the course), so that’s to be expected,” Tobin said. “I am so stoked to go to CIF with my team this year. Last year, we did not do well in league. It’s a huge step up for us.”

Tobin emphasized the word “team” and celebrated Jasmine Thompson’s fourth place and Ashley Messineo’s fifth place.

Katie Hansen of San Juan Hills took second place and qualified for CIF as an individual with a time of 17:46.0

San Clemente also qualified for CIF with a third-place finish.

On the boys side, San Juan Hills took the boys team title with its scoring five runners in the top 11, including second- and third-place from Brody Ray and Jacob Aries.

Capistrano Valley took second as Richard Kuciemba grabbed the individual title at 15:12.4

“I just knew to stick to the same guys (from the league preview) and I could catch them on the hill,” Kuciemba said. “At the top of the hill, I just went and felt good from there.”

San Juan Hills, Capistrano Valley and third-place Aliso Niguel all qualified for CIF and filled out the top six individual spots.

ORANGE LEAGUE FINALS

Also on Tuesday, Anaheim’s boys team placed six runners in the top eight to claim its first Orange League title since 2006.

Anaheim bested Santa Ana Valley, 22-51, but Santa Ana Valley and Katella both qualified to CIF with top-three finishes.

Katella was paced by an Orange League Finals record as Abraham Gonzalez posted a time of 15:10 to capture the individual league title. Gonzalez finished 1:19 ahead of second place to earn his second consecutive CIF appearance.


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