The San Luis Obispo High girls cross country team will return to the state meet after finishing with four runners in the top 25 — powered by senior Christine Hoffmann’s third-place performance — in Saturday’s CIF-Southern Section Division 3 Championships at Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut.
In the 3-mile race, Hoffmann turned in a time of 17 minutes, 33 seconds — 10 seconds behind winner Rebecca Mehra of Palos Verdes High and 5 seconds after runner-up Sydney Segal of Beverly Hills High.
The Tigers, who got impressive showings from Micayla Rennick (18:40, 12th), Olivia Carmo (18:55, 19th) and Leah Rife-Dupuy (19:12, 25th), hope to make another solid run at the CIF State Championships next Saturday at Woodward Park in Fresno. Last season, San Luis Obispo placed sixth overall with Hoffmann taking eighth in the individual standings.
At the division finals, the top seven teams and the top five individual runners within the first 20 placers not associated with a state qualifying team moved on.
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With those guidelines, the San Luis Obispo boys runners, with top-15 contributions from Seamus Land (15:08, sixth) and Luke Kraemer (15:30, 14th), made the state cut in the boys Division 3 race after taking seventh. Paso Robles, led by senior Zander Souza’s 13th-place finish in 15:29, took ninth in the same division.
Templeton’s Savannah Camacho will return to Woodward Park as an individual runner after her fourth-place finish in the girls Division 4 race with a time of 18:05.
For Camacho, it’s been a long, enduring path. After placing 37th in last year’s state meet, the senior twisted her ankle twice in two separate instances early this season, forcing her to play catch-up after missing a few weeks.
She’s doing fine now, said Jim Barodte, Camacho’s personal coach.
“It was a good run,” he said of Camacho, who topped her personal-best mark by 17 seconds. “She held it together. That was impressive after missing much of the season and to come back like that.”
Though she didn’t qualify, Templeton teammate Veronica Russell finished 28th in 19:23, enough to be the fourth-fastest freshman of the day in her division and help the Eagles to 11th place. Morro Bay freshman Shannon McClish took 40th in 19:46, as the Pirates finished 13th out of 16 teams.
Arroyo Grande boys came in 10th in the Division 2 — three spots from qualifying — with strong runs from Trevor Cowan (15:36, 23rd) and Josh Davis (15:45, 30th). And Rachel Frye of Mission Prep clocked a 20:04 to finish in 21st in the girls Division 5 race.
When the Southern Section football playoffs continue Friday, Templeton and San Luis Obispo will host games while Arroyo Grande is set to continue its run toward another Western Division final appearance on the road.
San Luis Obispo (8-3), which slammed Camarillo 54-28 in Friday’s opening round, will welcome Chaminade (9-2) in the quarterfinals of the Western Division playoffs. Arroyo Grande (10-1), also in the same division and seeded second, will travel to La Cañada Flintridge near Los Angeles to play 9-2 St. Francis High. The Eagles are coming off a dominating 41-6 win over Dos Pueblos High.
Second-seeded Arroyo Grande is the top-seeded team left in the Western Division playoffs after No. 1 seed Serra, the two-time defending division champ, lost 21-14 on Friday to Culver City, which will host Righetti on Friday.
And 6-5 Templeton, which eclipsed Carpinteria 41-28 on Friday, will face 6-5 South Torrance High at home in the quarterfinals of the Northwest Division playoffs. South Torrance knocked off Templeton last season’s semifinals, 35-7.
Game times are tentatively set for 7:30 but will officially be set Monday.