Teams from the Del Mar Heights corridor claimed a treasure trove of cross country riches at the Saturday, Nov. 23, CIF Championships in Balboa Park. Canyon Crest Academy captured its second Division I girls crown in three years, the Torrey Pines boys used their superior depth to take a Division I banner of their own and Cathedral Catholic swamped an out-manned Division III field to sweep both the boys and girls divisions.
All three schools will now be sending their teams to the CIF State Championships slated for this Saturday, Nov. 30, at Woodward Park in Fresno.
Senior Carlie Dorostkar and junior Elizabeth Emberger provided a potent 1-2 punch for Canyon Crest which registered a second championship under Head Coach Andy Corman, the first coming in 2017. The Ravens scored 46 points to handily out-distance second place Del Norte (78) with 2018 team champ Rancho Bernardo next with 103.
“Winning CIF certainly doesn’t get old,” said Corman. “My biggest excitement today came from the fact that in June the girls set this as their goal. They worked hard and now, five months later, they got it done. It was truly a team effort and seeing how happy they are is the real satisfaction.”
As anticipated, defending individual winner Dorostkar ran pretty much solo, posting a blazing mark of 16:28.8 while finishing nearly a minute and 20 seconds in front of runner-up Emberger. Senior, Allison Rios (10th), 11th place freshman Nikki Dorostkar (Carlie’s sister) and another senior, Mira Sur (22nd) rounded out the scorers for CCA. Torrey Pines sophomore Annika Salz earned an individual State meet berth by finishing sixth.
Dorostkar ran smooth and strong, seemingly poised to unleash a monster race in Fresno this weekend. For Corman, that figures to be a bittersweet moment.
“Carlie’s a special gift of an athlete, one that comes along once in a generation and that’s pretty fantastic,” he said. “You want to continually challenge her but also not screw it up.
“In the end, I want her to be successful but also keep loving to run, enjoying the process and preparing to do something as a runner when she leaves her. We’ve tried to give her the tools to achieve her goals.”
Coach Kyle Goodenough’s Torrey Pines boys may not have a singular athlete the caliber of Dorostkar, but they have a whole stable that are pretty darn good. The Falcons have a history of section level success on the boys side but have not won a CIF title since 2015.
Using numbers to its advantage, the Falcons got great top of the pack performance from junior Sebastian Barclay (7th-15:36.7) and senior Nick Salz 10th-15:52.3) and its 3-4-5 runners—sophomore Johnathan Hidle (20th), junior James Cusack (32nd) and senior AJ Castellanos (33rd)—finished in a 10-second grouping.
That gave Torrey Pines 100 points, putting Goodenough’s crew 30 clear of league rival San Marcos (130) and another seven better than third place Patrick Henry.
“We don’t have any crazy, star athletes, but I really like the combination of boys we have,” said Goodenough. “They’re an incredible group of athletes.
Interestingly, the lineup that filled the starting box Saturday, Nov. 23, was virtually the same roster that was on hand last fall when Torrey settled for eighth.
“When I moved to head coach after being an assistant last year, I was gifted with a very talented team, all ready to take the next step,” added Goodenough. “After last season, all of them were in the mindset to make a big jump to the elite level.
“We’ve seen it coming and it was just a matter of executing and getting them where they needed to be.” Top 10 or better could be in the cards at the State meet where depth will be an even bigger factor.
In Division III, any enduring frustration on the part of Cathedral Catholic was summarily erased Saturday, Nov. 23. The Don boys had collected CIF runner-up honors for five straight years and the girls had placed second three of the last four seasons.
Both overwhelmed their opponents this time around. Senior Max Wilson found the top of the podium in the boys’ chase, clocking 15:38.8, and sophomore teammate Blake Levy (15:47.8) reached the adjoining step as Cathedral netted 64 points to nearly double second place El Capitan (125).
The girls were even more impressive with a mark of 39 as all five scorers finished in the top 11. El Capitan was also second in the girls’ division with 72. Junior Trang Woolridge was the Dons’ individual leader, grabbing fourth in a time of 18:21.9. Following her home were freshman Madelyn Basinet (6th), sophomore Lexi Arambulo (8th) and seniors Elizabeth Houk (10th) and Maxine Aramulo (11th).
Under veteran Head Coach Dan Geiger, it was the sixth section championship on the girls’ side and fourth for the boys.