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JASON EICHELBERGER, OCVARSITY.COM
The Crean Lutheran girls cross country team celebrates its' victory at the Academy League Finals.

Maurer, Crean Lutheran grab Academy titles

OCVARSITY.COM

ORANGE- Crean Lutheran sophomore Lauren Maurer left little doubt Wednesday as to who the top runner in the Academy League is.

The rest of her teammates followed suit in the team competition.
    
Maurer dominated the field en route to claiming the individual league title and leading the Saints to a decisive team title at Irvine Regional Park.
    
The Register’s 2011-2012 Small Schools Athlete of the Year burst onto the county distance running scene last spring during track and field season, winning the CIF-SS Division 4 3200 title.
    
This fall, Maurer dedicated herself to training for cross country for the first time and has been pleased with the results to date.
    
“I felt that I have done well so far in my first season running cross country,” Maurer said. “I’m training hard and I think it has paid off.”
    
She assumed control of the league finals race within the first half mile and steadily extended her lead into the first and second miles.

Maurer ran comfortably over the final mile and crossed the finish line in a time of 17:54.

“It was a really good race for me to set the pace,” Maurer said.

She was the only runner in the race to finish in sub-19 minutes, and moments after the race, was already looking forward to the challenges that the infamous Mt. Sac course will offer when the CIF-SS preliminaries take place in November 10th.

“It’s a tough course and I have the motivation to stay up in the front,” Maurer said. “I know my body can handle it and I want to see how well that I can do.”

Whitney’s Catherine Luo finished second in a time of 19:07 and qualified for CIF as an individual. Crean Lutheran’s Ariana Sciarra (19:18) was third.

With Maurer and Sciarra leading the way, the Saints (25 points) easily won the league title, as they had all five scorers finish in the top nine.

“The girls were a young team at the beginning of the season and didn’t know what they were capable of doing,” Saints coach Tim Brink said. “Our goal now is continuing to train for CIF prelims and finals.”
    
Sage Hill (57) and Oxford Academy (74) were second and third, earning automatic spots into CIF.


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