The race is on for spots at the state cross country meet


The same two teams that finished first and second in last year's Central Coast Section Division I boys cross country race will be in the forefront again Saturday at the Crystal Springs course off Hallmark Drive in Belmont.

Bellarmine Prep is looking to continue its dominance of the sport and Palo Alto is in the running to possibly unseat the Bells.

Vikings' senior Kent Slaney and Bellarmine's Meika Beaudoin-Ross will likely vie for the individual title.

The Division I boys race is scheduled to go off at 12:20 p.m. with the girls to follow at 12:55 p.m.

The Division IV boys and girls races kick off the full day of competition at 10 a.m. and 10:35 a.m., respectively.

The Division V races begin at 11:10 a.m. and 11:45 a.m., with Castellija and Priory both in the hunt for a top finish among the girls.

The Division II races get underway at 1:30 p.m. and 2:05 p.m., with the Gunn girls looking to place among the top three.

The Bells will be hard to defeat. All five of its scoring runners placed in the top nine of the West Catholic Athletic League finals and all ran under 16:00, with Beaudoin-Ross going 14:59.6 at Crystal Springs. No. 2 finisher Alex Scales ran 15:14.3.

Slaney ran 15:22 in finishing second (first in Division I) overall last year, Beaudoin-Ross went 15:35 a year ago.

Palo Alto is uniquely situated to challenge Bellarmine for the team title, with enough quality depth among its runners to stay with the Bells.

Six Vikings finished among the top 10 at the Santa Clara Valley Athletic League El Camino Division finals at Crystal Springs, with Slaney running 15:18.4 and No. 6 runner Sam Craig going 16:29.6.

In between, Henry Saul, Naveen Pai, Spencer Morganfeld and Ben Beaudry can make things interesting. Even Kai Oda, who finished 17th at the league meet, could factor in the final tally by finishing ahead one of the Bellarmine runners.

Menlo-Atherton, Monta Vista, Carlmont, Cupertino, Los Altos, Los Gatos and Homestead will all be looking to make an impact on the DI boys race.

Bears' sophomore Luke Scandlyn, third in the Peninsula Athletic League championships, has a chance to break into the top 10. M-A's Karl Zahlhaas-Lieb and Jonathon Coot are also contenders.

Homestead and Monta Vista enter the DI girls championships as favorites, though Menlo-Atherton could have a say in things, led by freshman Lena Kalotihos and sophomore Anna Leake, both capable of finishing in the top 10.

Sohalia Schoen, Cricket Gorey, Sara Osterberg, Molly Davis and Maggie Collins will look to make contributions. Davis is the only senior in the group.

There are no seniors racing for the Paly girls this year, a promising sign for the future. Junior Julia Doubson and freshman Miranda Jimenez have the best chances for a top finish. Sophomores Caroline Elarde, Maya Wilson and Katie Martha, and freshman Zoe Douglas, are also entered.

Two-time defending WBAL champion Castilleja has a legitimate shot at winning the girls Division V title and Priory looks to compete as well. Both teams are relatively young, each with a single senior.

Cosi Layton, Claire Traum, the only senior, Tevah Gevelber, Angie Wang and Lauren Traum all finished among the top 15 in the West Bay Athletic League finals.

Layton and Traum, who finished fourth in the 800 meters at last year's CCS event, each ran personal bests, while Gevelber has finished in the top 10 of all three league meets.

Freshman Eva Rust and senior Elise Rust are Priory's top two runners.

Kehillah Jewish junior Elyse Folkman placed seventh in the CCS last year and was third in the WBAL finals this year.

In Division V boys, junior Jack Nash and senior Jack Youstra leads Priory. Max Velazquez, Alexis Nunez and Carlos Nunez lead Eastside, and Wils Harris and Schuyler Zandbergen lead Mid-Peninsula. Pinewood's Michael Bodine is also entered.

Sacred Heart Prep senior Brett Anstrom won the WBAL individual title and will be a factor in the Division IV boys race, where Half Moon Bay and Greenfield are the favorites. Gators sophomore Max Cluss will also be among the top finishers.

Menlo senior Ben Zdasiuk will also race.

Menlo finished second to Castilleja in the WBAL girls championship and will be a long shot in D4 girls.

Senior Eliza Crowder finished third at the WBAL finals and leads a group, with junior Natalia Cordon, that includes five freshmen: Cameron Boom, Charlotte Tomkinson, Katie Aufricht, Amanda Foster and Kyra Pretre.

Sacred Heart Prep's Natalie Novitsky will be competitive in the individual race. Fellow senior Jean Howell will be in the mix.

The Gunn girls will get a rematch with SCVAL champion Mountain View and Division II favorites St. Francis in what should be a competitive race.

The Titans finished six points behind the Spartans at the league finals.

Juniors Joyce Shea and Natalie Hill lead a talented group that also includes seniors Priya Thomas and Claire Hu, sophomore Lily Jose and freshmen Sophie Alexis and Amy Cheng.

Freshman Sarah Perry is Woodside's top runner and is joined by junior Emma Wilde and seniors Kara Herson, Hayley Chavez Rosel, Juliana Silk, Taylor Matel and Nicole Taylor.

Freshman Nathan Bowman is Woodside's lone male runner at the meet.

Gunn senior Jonas Enders has a chance to finish among the top 10 but the Titans will be hard pressed to overtake St. Francis and Willow Glen for the team title.

Freshman Justin Chiao, juniors Thomas Burton, Colin Huang, and Ronan Etherington will go a long way to determine Gunn's outcome.

The top three teams from each division, with the exception of girls DI and DV, which sends the top two teams, advance to the state meet on Nov. 26 at Woodward Park in Fresno.

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