Southern California's High School Sports Blog

XC: Crean Lutheran Sweeps Top Honors at Academy League Finals

Academy League Girls

Runners prepare for the start of the girls race at the Academy League Finals Friday at Irvine Regional Park. Photo courtesy of Crean Lutheran XC

The Crean Lutheran girls and boys cross country teams were the Academy League’s most prominent symbol of excellence during the regular season.

That theme continued impressively on Friday, as the road to the CIF State Cross Country Championships officially opened for travel.

The Saints’ journey toward a potential trip to Woodward Park next month got off to a rousing start, as the program produced both individual champions and came away with dual team titles at the Academy League Finals at Irvine Regional Park.

Saints senior Mandy Reyes distinguished herself as the league’s top runner during the regular season by winning both of the Academy League’s cluster meets.

Reyes completed an undefeated season against her fellow league harriers by winning the individual crown in a time of 18:45.

Her victory proved to be a sparkplug for the Saints, who won their fourth consecutive league title behind four top-10 finishers.

Sophomore Ellah Hess placed fifth in 19:56, senior Ariana Sciarra came in sixth with a time of 20:09, and freshman Savannah Sciarra was eighth in 20:26 to support Reyes’ victory.

Crean Lutheran scored five runners in the top 12 and had all seven runners finish in the top 20 overall en route to scoring a winning total of 32 points.

Sage Hill placed five runners in the top 15 and finished second with 43 points.

Lightning freshman Emma Dickenson continued her strong campaign by finishing second to Reyes in 18:47.

Whitney (83 points) was third and was led by a third place individual finish by sophomore Ashley Scott (19:40).

The steady improvement of Saints sophomore Craig Odenwald resulted in his biggest race performance of the season to date.

Odenwald placed fourth and third respectively in the league’s two regular season competitions, but enjoyed a league-title winning clocking of 16:09.

Oxford Academy senior Albert Nguyen finished second in 16:12.

In addition to Odenwald, freshmen Dylan Cochan and Garrett Miller, senior Chris Campbell, and junior Cole Pino scored in the top 14 for the Saints, who tallied a victorious total of 48 points.

(All seven runners that toed the starting line for Crean Lutheran placed in the top 17.)

The win secured the second league title in three seasons for the Saints.

St. Margaret’s, (ranked ninth in the latest CIF-SS Division 5 rankings), finished second with 60 points.

The Tartans were led by the junior trio of Nic Gitter (16:35), Charlie Smith (16:38), and Luke Gitter (16:48) who placed fourth, fifth, and sixth respectively.

Sage Hill was third with 78 points.

To view complete results from the Academy League Finals, please click here.

Results courtesy of SocalTiming.com.

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