It has been said that beating a team or individual three times in one season is difficult to do. Palo Alto's Philip MacQuitty would have to agree.
MacQuitty, Palo Alto's standout runner, defeated Mountain View's Garrett Rowe twice this season -- once in the SCVAL De Anza Division finals and again at the Central Coast Section championships.
On Saturday, the two sophomores lined up against each other at the CIF State Cross-Country Championships at Woodward Park in Fresno. This time, three was a charm for Rowe as he beat MacQuitty and finished fifth overall in the boys' Division II race in 15:41 over the 5,000-meter layout.
MacQuitty finished 11th in 15:47 and was the No. 2 CCS runner behind Rowe. Palo Alto junior Charlie Avis, running in his first state finals, was 36th in 16:21.
The Gunn and Castilleja girls, meanwhile, both ran well in the team competition. The Titans finished 10th while the Gators took 11th in their respective divisions.
The Division II Titans were once again led by freshman Jackie Evans, who finished 23rd overall in her first state meet in 18:52. She was the No. 4 runner from the CCS but the fastest freshman in the race.
Junior teammate Allegra Mayer was 24th in 18:52 while finishing neck-and-neck with Evans. Gunn freshman Emma Dohner was 50th (19:14). Sophomore teammate Lisa Fawcett (20:08) and junior Tara Saxena (20:30) rounded out Gunn's scoring.
In the Division V girls' race, Castilleja finished 11th with senior Sonja Swenson leading the way in 27th in 20:04. She was the first CCS finisher. The second CCS finisher was Woodside Priory freshman Devon Errington, who clocked 20:13 for 33rd overall. At the CCS finals, Errington won with Swenson second.
Castilleja's other runners included freshman Rachel Skokowski in 38th (20:44), sophomore Laura Swenson in 51st (21:14), senior Kim Kilgroe 72nd in 21:52) and Libby Cooper 73rd in 22:01.
The Sacred Heart Prep girls finished 15th with sophomore Nadia Ahmed leading the way in 41st (20:55). Woodside Priory was 17th in the 20-team field. Lauren Allen was the Panthers' No. 2 runner, taking 42nd in 20:34.
The other local CCS team competing was the Sacred Heart Prep boys, who took 17th out of 22 teams. Senior Alex Navarro led the Gators with a 65th-place finish of 17:41.