High School Sports

Mooney, Hoffman shine at section cross country finals

Mission Prep standout Annie Mooney, and San Luis Obispo’s Christine Hoffman led the way for county athletes at the CIF-Southern Section cross country finals Saturday at Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut.

Mooney won the Division 5 girls race, finishing the 3-mile course in 19 minutes, 27 seconds and leading the Royals to a third-place finish as a team. In Division 5, the top six teams advanced to next Saturday’s state finals at Woodward Park in Fresno.

The meet had to be moved to a slightly difference course, where the rain wasn’t as much of an issue, but Mission Prep coach Leslie Monaco said it still bothered the runners.

“It was a little ugly out there,” Monaco said. “But it was good that they changed the course, or it wouldn’t have been safe and it was very slippery.”

Mooney finished 12 seconds ahead of Marywood High junior Alexia Velarde, easily besting the field of 117 runners.

“She looked relaxed and ran a really smart race,” Monaco said. “She didn’t completely spend herself so she’ll be ready for next weekend.”

Hoffman finished second in the Division 3 race, finishing in 18:30. She trailed Palos Verdes’ Rebecca Mehra by three seconds.

Coupled with a 10th-place finish by Kathleen Uyttewaal (19:02), the Tigers finished sixth as a team. The top seven Division 3 teams advanced to next week’s state final.

Also qualifying for the state meet was Templeton’s Savannah Camacho. Competing as an individual in the Division 4 girls race, Camacho finished sixth in 19:25.

The Morro Bay girls finished 10th in the Division 4 race, led by Rachel Jelstrom’s 21st-place finish in 20:01.

The Pirates’ boys finished 11th, led by Bryan Carroll’s 26th- place finish in 17:17.

Competing as an individual, Arroyo Grande’s Emily Johnston finished 61st in the Division 2 girls race, finishing in 19:59.