A pair of local seniors put the finishing touches on impressive Los Padres League careers as Morro Bay High’s Austin Lay and Nipomo’s Taylor Witcher took home the individual titles at Wednesday’s LPL cross country championships at the Fairbanks Cross Coiuntry Course.
Lay took the boys 5K in 16 minutes, 21.76 seconds, while Witcher won the girls race in 20:00.44 — the third straight year a Titan won the girls title.
On the strength of three top-five finishers, Templeton won the girls team title with 38 points, while Santa Ynez edged Cabrillo in the boys team race.
Nipomo freshman Mackenzie Wisneski finished second behind her teammate, Witcher, in 20:17.71 before a trio of Templeton runners crossed the finish line. Veronica Russell was third in 20:25.11, Kecymar Osuna fourth in 20:26.12 and Hannah Weaver fifth in 20:29.06 for the Eagles.
Morro Bay’s Eliza Lewis (sixth in 20:55.22), Alexis Lewis (seventh in 20:55.40) and Shannon McClish (ninth in 21:19.93), and Templeton’s Hannah Zemella (10th in 21:19.93) also finished in the top 10.
Morro Bay was second in the girls team race with 55 points, and Nipomo was third with 77.
Nipomo’s Rogelio Flores finished fourth in the boys race in 16:54.74, and Morro Bay’s Andrew Stafford was eighth in 17:20.09 to round out the runners from San Luis Obispo County inside the top 10.
The Pirates finished fifth in the boys team standings, followed by Nipomo in sixth and Templeton in eighth.
The top four teams and individuals who finished in the top six but were not on a top-four team qualify for the CIF-Southern Section prelims on Nov. 15 at Mt. San Antonio College. The Templeton, Morro Bay and Nipomo girls teams each qualify, while Lay and Flores are the lone LPL boys from the county to qualify.
Simi Valley 11, San Luis Obispo 7
The doubles team of Caroline Burke and Anna Lippold swept its sets 6-3, 6-2, 6-0, but it wasn’t enough for the Tigers (15-5), who dropped all nine singles sets on the road in the CIF-Southern Section Division 2 first round.
Joelle Lewis and Fiona Huffaker teamed up to win a pair of sets 7-6 (1), 6-4, and Huffaker also played a set with Gabby Garza, which the duo won 6-3.
Burke and Lippold, both first team all-league players, will continue on in the CIF-Southern Section Individual Championships later in the month.
BOYS WATER POLO
PAC 8 Tournament
Arroyo Grande earned wins over St. Joseph and San Luis Obispo to set up a showdown with Righetti for the league championship Friday at Righetti.
The Eagles (14-10, 7-1) defeated the Knights 19-5 on the strength of four goals from Josh Smith and three goals each from Conner Sandman, Hunter Roberts and Blake Adams.
Ryan Sverchek led the way in the 10-8 semifinal win over the Tigers, scoring five times. Roberts added three goals, and Sandman had two.
Bo Crozier, Jamison Johnson and Garrett Perkins each had two goals for the Tigers (18-6), who defeated Pioneer Valley in the first round 15-4. Galen Penvenne scored four times in the win.
Atascadero defeated Paso Robles in the first round, 18-9, thanks to five goals from Dylan Hughes and four more from Blake Archibald. James Fisher made 14 saves.
The Greyhounds then fell in the semifinals 20-4 to Righetti — the top-ranked team in CIF-Southern Section Division 4. Dylan Linnenkamp had three goals for Atascadero.