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Simic's plan works perfectly at PCL Finals
ORANGE - A detailed pre-race analysis aided Woodbridge senior Dragan Simic in his quest to win a league title and lead his team to similar success.
Simic broke away from the pack late en route to finishing first and lead Woodbridge to the team title at the Pacific Coast League Finals on Friday at Irvine Regional Park.
“Last night, I took a piece of paper and went back and forth over each part of the course,” said Simic. “These races are all about focus and I was able to do that at every point of the race.”
Simic, along with Corona del Mar senior Blake Myers and University senior Charles Morgan, set the early pace through the first mile and maintained a small advantage over the main pack of runners into the second mile.
Late in the second mile, Morgan surged into the lead, but Simic responded with a surge of his own to take the lead back as the runners entered the final mile and began their ascent up the final hill of the course.
Simic then took the lead for good coming down the hill and sprinted to the finish line, crossing in a time of 14:43.
Fellow Warriors senior Brandon Ferguson came in second place with a time of 14:46, with Myers placing third in a time of 14:54.
“We’ve prepared for Mt. SAC as much as we can, and collectively as a team, we have a goal of getting to CIF Finals and eventually the state meet,” said Simic.
Led by Simic and Ferguson, the Warriors (34 points) had all five scoring runners finish in the top 15.
“Our top runners are running real well, and we’ve focused on maintaining our speed in the front and closing our gap down,” said Warriors coach George Varvas.
University had five scoring runners place in the top 20 to finish second with 47 points, while Corona del Mar (56 points) also had five scorers in the top 20 to grab the final automatic CIF qualifying spot.
Qualifying for CIF as an individual was Beckman freshman Anthony Palazzo, who was sixth in a time of 15:21.