By Keith Peters
Palo Alto Online Sports
Gunn sophomore Sarah Robinson kept her perfect season intact by running away with individual honors at the SCVAL El Camino Division cross-country championships on Tuesday at Crystal Springs in Belmont.
Robinson won her fourth race in as many starts, but this one was the most impressive as she became the No. 2 performer in school history with the third-fastest time ever while racing to victory in 17:32.
Tori Tyler ran 16:51.3 in 2004 and added a 17:31 in the '04 league meet to post Gunn's top two times ever at Crystal Springs. Robinson, meanwhile, now ranks among the top 40 all-time on the course.
"I felt pretty good throughout the race," said Robinson, who clocked the No. 3 time this season on the 2.95-mile Crystal Springs course -- fastest by a Central Coast Section Division I runner. "This gave me a gauge of what pace I can run (at CCS)."
Robinson should be favored for the CCS title and will have her teammates there with her when the Titans go after a state berth at the section finals on Nov. 12, also at Crystal Springs.
With Robinson running 1:36 faster than last season's third-place finish at the league meet, the Titans scored 61 points and finished second to Mountain View's 39. Palo Alto finished third with 64 points and also qualified for CCS as a team.
Gunn and Paly each placed all their scoring runners among the top 25. Robinson was followed by Kieran Gallagher in ninth (20:04), Christine Prior in 12th (20:32), Eliana Ribbe in 19th (21:02) and Melia Dunbar in 20th (21:10)
Palo Alto was led by freshman Katie Foug in fifth (19:30), junior Chika Kasahara in sixth (19:34), Audrey DeBruine in 16th (20:41), Rachelle Holmgren in 17th (20:53) and Sophia Robinson in 21st (21:14).
With senior Andrew Prior clocking a personal best of 15:50, the Gunn boys' cross-country team finished second with 60 points. Los Altos won with 52. Palo Alto was sixth and missed qualifying for CCS as a team.
Prior, who finished fifth in last year's race in 16:15, led a Gunn team that produced five personal bests among its senior scorers.
Peter Chen finished sixth (16:16) after taking 10th last year, Daniel Krigel raced home 12th (16:36), Michael Underwood was 15th (16:47), and Shaun Yee took 24th in 17:21.
Palo Alto's Nikolai Solgaard finished 13th in 16:39 and qualified for CCS as an individual.