Putting four runners among the top 10, the Menlo-Atherton girls successfully defended their cross-country title at the PAL Championships on Saturday at Crystal Springs in Belmont. The Bears scored 39 points to hold off runner-up Half Moon Bay by seven points.
The Bears weren't as dominant as in last year's race when they went 1-2-4-6-7 and scored just 20 points, but still had plenty of depth.
Katie Beebe led the way on the 2.95-mile layout by clocking 19:40 for fourth place. Teammate Cat DePuy was fifth in 19:48, Annalisa Crowe was seventh in 19:58 and Madeleine Baier capped M-A's top-10 finishers in eighth place (20:14).
DePuy made the biggest improvement after finishing 17th last year in 21:01.1.
Half Moon Bay led M-A through the first three runners, but it was Baier's effort that moved the Bears into the lead at 24-26. Olivia Tai wrapped up the title by taking 15th in 20:45.
In the varsity boys' race, Menlo-Atherton was third once again despite a 35-point improvement over last year (71-106) while Carlmont defended its title by winning over Half Moon Bay by six points.
Adam Scandlyn led M-A with a seventh-place finish of 16:33. Nicolas Plume was 11th in 16:47 for the Bears and Kevin Conrad was 14th in 17:00. Rohan DePuy (17:05) and Steven McColloch (17:13) wrapped up the Bears' scoring.
Both M-A teams next will compete in the Central Coast Section Championships, set for Saturday at Toro Park in Salinas.