It was a day filled with heartbreak for the Laguna Beach High cross country program at the CIF Southern Section Division Championships Saturday at Mt. San Antonio College.
The Breakers boys' and girls' teams just missed the cut for the CIF State Meet by one spot, as both placed eighth in Division 4 competition with the top seven each earning a trip to Woodward Park in Fresno for the elite event on Saturday .
"We had a lot of good individual performances but just as a whole we have to pull it together," Laguna Beach girls' Coach Steve Lalim said. "Usually our strength is in our numbers and our tight pack, but we just couldn't pull it off today."
Laguna Beach's boys (223) fell just 10 points short of a trip to State, just getting edged by No. 7 Harvard-Westlake (213). Jack Crawford finished 34th overall in 15 minutes, 25 seconds and Grant Barton wasn't far behind, as he was 38th in 15:27 for the Breakers, who had Veda Rebollar (56th, 15:52), Cameron Zuziak (73rd, 16:08) and John Kimball (82nd, 16:16) complete their top five.
Laguna Beach's girls (205) were just nine points away from a trip to State, as Crean Lutheran locked up the seventh spot with 196 points. Eliza Romero was the Breakers top finisher, as she took 29th in 18:19. Pearl Shoemaker took 40th in 18:31 for Laguna Beach, which had Janie Crawford (56th, 18:53), Livie Clark (61st, 19:03) and Monica White (69th, 19:23) round out the top five.
"It stings," Lalim said. "Last year we felt it and it was good because we were there and took sixth place. Now we've tasted both sides and I think going forward they're not going to want that feeling anymore. We're in one of the worst spots we can be, but I think they're going to build on it and become stronger next year because of it."
— Andrew Shortall
CIF Girls' Tennis
Six Breakers, singles players Brooke Michaels and Bailey Jaeger, and the doubles teams of Chloe Mansour/Dominique Willette and Sarah Nederlander/Katelyn Bo, competed Monday at the CIF Southern Section Individual tournament at Corona del Mar High.
Michaels and Jaeger fell in the first round of singles play. Michaels, the singles champion in the Orange Coast League, dropped a three-set tiebreaker, 2-6, 6-0, 8-10, to Caitlynn Lowery of Yorba Linda (Empire League No. 2). Jaeger, runner-up to the OCL singles title, was eliminated, 6-1, 6-1, by Alexandra Krogius (Trinity League No. 1) of Santa Margarita.
Both Laguna doubles teams won their first-round matches Monday but were eliminated in second-round play Tuesday . Mansour and Willette, who claimed the OCL doubles title earlier this month, defeated Meagan Mathieson/Clare Lee (Garden Grove League No. 2) of Pacifica 6-1, 6-2. On Tuesday, the pair fell, 7-5, 6-2, to Megan Bathen/Kaitlyn Cosenza (Sunset League No. 2) of Newport Harbor. Nederlander and Bo, the No. 2 team in the OCL, rallied to defeat Michelle Jen/Katrina Tan (Suburban League No. 1) of Cerritos in a three-set tiebreaker. On Tuesday, the duo lost, 6-1, 6-4, to Sarah Edwards/Sydney Bott (Sunset League No. 1) of Los Alamitos.
CIF Preseason Winter Rankings
The preseason rankings for four prep winter sports, boys' and girls soccer, girls' water polo, and wrestling, have been released. Below are the rankings that involve Laguna Beach teams:
Girls' Water Polo: Laguna Beach (No. 6, Division 1)
— Mike Sciacca