RANKINGS Southern Section Top Teams and Individuals


1. Newbury Park (Div. 1) - Sat out Mt. SAC but reflecting back on their results at Clovis, we find ourselves placing this group being in their own category vs. the rest of the Southern Section. They are ranked seventh in the nation in this week's MileSplit50 and all eyes are focused on the Panthers' rematch for the state title against Buchanan in five weeks.  

2. Mira Costa (Div. 2) - Captured the Team Sweepstakes Race at the Mt. SAC Invite and still the best team in Division 2.  They should be ranked in the Top 25 but lack the head-to-head matchup against Newbury Park (when at full strength). Duke-bound senior Dalia Frias is ranked fourth in the nation and backed it up with her 16:42 solo romp at Mt. SAC while along with Ella Parsley and Anna Chittenden, forming one of the best trios in the nation.   
3. Canyon (Div. 2) - Along with a slim one-point victory at the Orange County Championships, the group came back to shine at the Mt. SAC Invite, despite missing their traditional fourth scorer.  Seniors Emma Hadley and Bella Frisone have formed one of the best 1-2 combos in the state.  
4. JSerra (Div. 4) - Only ran several varsity girls at Mt. SAC and with that, they did not go 100 percent.  They lost to Canyon by one point at the Orange County Championships but with a fully healthy squad, they have the talent to leapfrog Canyon by the end of the postseason. The odds-on favorite for the Divisional and State crowns next month for Division 4.  

5. Great Oak (Div. 1) - Career-best race by junior Kelli Gaffney (17:22) at Mt. SAC but the gap between their 2-5 expanded out to 36-seconds whereas, in September, it hovered more around 15-20 seconds. They need that back-end scoring to run their best at the State Meet to get back onto the podium.  
6. Claremont (Div. 2) - With senior Maddie Coles (17:57) in the front group in the Team Sweeps race at Mt. SAC, sophomore Denise Chen (17:36) passed her on the backside of the course to emerge in front to lead the team to a strong finish.  They've had the same five score in every meet this past month and it was nice to see their fourth and fifth finish closer to their third last weekend.   
7. Oaks Christian (Div. 4) - Sophomore Payton Godsey (17:53) led the way to the team's fourth-place finish at the Friday Sweeps at Mt. SAC.  With the addition of their missing fifth scorer, they finish well ahead of Division 4 foes, Sage Creek (SD), and La Canada (SS).  They placed three in the top eight in that highly competitive Friday Sweeps.   
8. Redondo Union (Div. 1) - With this squad still getting back to full health, they convinced us that they are a lock for one of those five open spots to the State Meet (beyond Newbury Park and Great Oak).  Lyla Fedio (17:48) had her best performance to date.  They still look to tighten that 30-second gap between their 2-5 scorers.   

9. La Canada (Div. 4) - Came away with a solid third-place performance in the Friday Sweeps at Mt. SAC, led by Arielle McKenzie's 17:58 effort. With all cylinders clicking, this squad is better than what they showed in that race and will be a lock for a State Meet berth in the relatively loaded Division 4 field.  
10. Vista Murrieta (Div. 1) - Like their boys, and with no surprise, the Broncos revealed their true talent at Mt. SAC, led by Isabella Smith's 18:04. Keep in mind that they were missing their second scorer.  VM will reveal more in the next several weeks and rest assured, their best race still awaits.    
11. Chino Hills (Div. 1) - Nice performance at Mt. SAC, moving them up a tad in our overall section's rankings. They add to what has now become a traffic jam between five squads for those last four spots to the State Meet next month.    
12. Santiago (Div. 1) - We have this squad still ahead slated for a State Meet spot but a lot of it does hinge on getting the squad back to full health.  Freshman Rylee Blade (18:20) led the squad at Mt. SAC but they want to see their top four get back to the sub-70 second gap in their top four. It was 108 seconds at Mt. SAC.  
13. Fountain Valley (Div. 1) - One of the few squads that rested most of its team at Mt. SAC and the Orange County Championships, it's been a while since we last saw Kaho Cichon at her 16:58 performance at the Dana Hills Invite. 
14. Saugus (Div. 1) - Perhaps THE toughest squad to get a read on as they have yet to run their full squad in over a month.  
15. Dana Hills (Div. 2) - This group performed much better at the Orange County Championships, thus the reason why we have them still in their tier. Two of their scorers from the previous were off at Mt. SAC while they rested their fifth from the OCC. Junior Allura Markow continues to impress with her 17:59 effort.  

16. El Toro (Div. 2)
17. Westlake (Div. 2)
18. Palos Verdes (Div. 3)
19. Laguna Hills (Div. 4)
20. Peninsula (Div. 2)
21. West Ranch (Div. 2)
22. Rancho Cucamonga (Div. 1)
23. Roosevelt (Div. 1)
24. Huntington Beach (Div. 1)
25. Aliso Niguel (Div. 1)
On the cusp: Ayala, Bishop Amat, Brea Olinda, Crescenta Valley, Etiwanda, Laguna Beach, La Serna, Quartz Hill, San Clemente, South Torrance, Torrance

Division 1 
1. Sam McDonnell (Newbury Park)
2. Kelli Gaffney (Great Oak) 
3. Isabella Duarte (Saugus)
4. Ailish Hawkins (Newbury Park)
5. Lyla Fedio (Redondo Union)
6. Isabella Smith (Vista Murrieta)
7. Makenzie McRae (Huntington Beach)
8. Tiffany Sax (Newbury Park)
9. Kamryn Grossman (Valencia Valencia)
10. Rylee Blade (Santiago)

Division 2 
1. Dalia Frias (Mira Costa)
2. Sadie Engelhardt (Ventura)
3. Aishling Callanan (Peninsula)
4. Ella Parsley (Mira Costa)
5. Denise Chen (Claremont)
6. Alexis Fernandez (West Ranch)
7. Anna Chittenden (Mira Costa)
8. Emma Hadley (Anaheim Canyon)
9. Maddie Coles (Claremont)
10. Isabella Frisone (Anaheim Canyon)

Division 3
George McCorkle (Agoura)
Sydney Rome (Yorba Linda)
Mia Chavez (Chino)
Sophie Polay (Santa Margarita)
Marjourie Lopez (Shadow Hills)
Madison Parrone (Oak Park)
Natalie Wang (Palos Verdes)
Sequioa Gonzalez (Torrance)
Melisse Djomby-Enyawe (Corona del Mar)
Nataly Toledo (North Torrance) 

Division 4
Holly Barker (Laguna Hills)
Payton Godsey (Oaks Christian)
Arielle McKenzie (La Canada)
Georgia Jeanneret (JSerra)
Brynn Garcia (JSerra)
Grace Geyer (Oaks Christian)
Anastasia Snodgrass (J Serra)
Katelyn Matarese (La Canada)
Sarah Colebrooke (Oaks Christian)
Ashlee Gallegos (JSerra)
Sydney Morrow (South Pasadena)

Division 5
JiaLian Mackey (Viewpoint)
Aubrey Eaton (Providence)
Julia Gerolmo (Crossroads)
Ryley Burns (Linfield Christian)
Kaitlyn Ray (La Reina)
Liesel Blau (St. Margaret's)
Anna Disorbo (Cate)
Claire Babbitt (Mary Star of the Sea)
Brianna Delgado (Paraclete)
Sarah Bendzick (St. Margaret's)


1) Newbury Park (Div. 1) - Focused on the postseason at this point and took Mt. SAC off.  Based on what we witnessed at Clovis, more than one of their boys would have all broken the all-time Mt. SAC course record while if we assembled the rest of the state's best onto one 'all-star' team ...  Newbury Park still easily prevails.  Can they take 1-6 at the Division 1 CIF-SS Finals?  Will they even run their 'A' team...? 

2) Great Oak (Div. 1) - They had their best race of the season to capture the Team Sweepstakes Race at Mt. SAC for the sixth year in a row!  Currently ranked ninth in the nation, Ramses Cortes (15:16) rolled with twin Mark Cortes right behind him at 15:19.  A minuscule 24-second scoring gap is unmatched in the section while Cameron Smith rebounded from Clovis with his 15:40 clocking to close out their scoring while Brandon Wilk (15:33) continues to improve.  
3) Loyola (Div. 1) - Another solid performance at Mt. SAC to support their rankings here but should be also be included in our national top 25 squads along with Great Oak.  Richard Moreno (15:11) proved why he is one of the best in his division while Nathan Mars (15:33) threw down his best performance yet as their fourth scorer.  

4) San Clemente (Div. 1) - Knocking on the door to the next tier, they will push the two above powers to the hilt as the Tritons continue to improve.  Juan Chantaca (15:17) ran one of the school's fastest times ever for the Mt. SAC course while they scored within a sub-50 second gap a week after easily capturing the Orange County Championships. And, four of their top five are underclassmen.
5) Mira Costa (Div. 2) - The development of this group has been one of the highlights in the section as they moved up to the best in their division.  An impressive 32-second gap highlighted a great day at Mt. SAC, led by Seamus O'Meara (15:34).   With only two seniors in their top seven, they have proven that they will also push for the State Title as well.     
6) Crescenta Valley (Div. 1) - Resting Rowan Fitzgerald for the postseason while the rest of the crew still proved why they are a State Meet team, even without being at full strength.  The rest of the group continues to progress, highlighted by Parker Simmons (15:14). They have yet to run their true top five in any one race this season.  
7) Vista Murrieta (Div. 1) - Our biggest climber here as more than any other team, they truly kept their cards hidden until this past weekend at Mt. SAC!  Lance Denhalter and Brandon Calderon form a solid 1-2 punch while the Broncos have seemingly crashed the party and can very well push to move up once the postseason hits.   
8) West Torrance (Div. 3) - Rested their varsity squad at Mt. SAC as they traditionally do.  They are the best squad in their division for the section and have all eyes set on capturing the State Title in five weeks.  

9) Claremont (Div. 2) - Senior Chris Coles owned the back part of the Mt. SAC course to emerge with an impressive 14:56 victory in the Saturday Individual Sweeps.  
10) Hart (Div. 2) - They look to have Jaden Wiley back for the postseason but meanwhile, the squad continues to be a State Meet squad nonetheless. With him, they can push the other divisional powers for the team title in four weeks.  
11) Santiago (Div. 1) - Evan Hild (15:17) and Tyler Kaan (15:24) displayed why again, they form one of the top duos in the division.  The Sharks were missing their traditional third scorer and look to have him back by the postseason.  
12) Thousand Oaks (Div. 2) - With one of their scorers off at Mt. SAC, Atticus Hall (15:28) led the way while Liam Papavasiliou (16:01) had his best race of the season.  The Lancers are a legit State Meet team but still want to see their scoring gap diminish for them to challenge those top three from Division 2 listed above.  
13) Ventura (Div. 2) - They continue to focus on training and took Mt. SAC off as they prepare for a strong push into the postseason. Tough group to read in that they have not been at any high-level meets in the past six weeks and even then, they were missing one of their top scorers.  
14) Redondo Union (Div. 1) - Do not be fooled by the Mt. SAC overall merge as Christoph Waligorski was in the top five over a mile into the Team Sweeps but cautiously backed off when tweaking his ankle. All assurances that he will be 100% for November while Aaron Thomas (15:37) shined with another solid performance.  

15) Royal (Div. 2) - 
16) Valencia Valencia. (Div. 1)
17) Rancho Cucamonga (Div. 1)
18) Long Beach Poly (Div. 1)
19) Ayala (Div. 2)
20) Aliso Niguel (Div. 1)
21) Capistrano Valley (Div. 3)
22) ML King (Div. 1)
23) Trabuco Hills (Div. 1)
24) Arcadia (Div. 1)
25) Palos Verdes (Div. 3)
25t) Dana Hills (Div. 2)
On the cusp: Agoura, El Toro, Foothill, Fountain Valley, Glendora, Laguna Hills, La Serna, Millikan, Roosevelt, Tesoro, Torrance, Westlake

Division 1 
1. Colin Sahlman (Newbury Park)
2. Leo Young (Newbury Park)
3. Lex Young (Newbury Park)
4. Aaron Sahlman (Newbury Park)
5. Hector Martinez (Newbury Park)
6. Daniel Appleford (Newbury Park)
7. Jason Parra (Millikan)
8. Richard Moreno (Loyola)
9. Christoph Waligorski (Redondo Union)
10. Joseph Pohlot (Valencia Valencia.)
Parker Simmons (Crescenta Valley)

Division 2 
1. Chris Coles (Claremont)
2. John Sesteaga (Glendora)
3. Jonah Bazerkanian (Royal)
4. Joshua Razo (Walnut)
5. Mason Ma (Ayala)
6. Atticus Hall (Thousand Oaks)
7. KC Barber (Westlake)
8. Justin Singer (Cypress)
9. Seamus O'Meara (Mira Costa)
10. Bille Issa (West Ranch)

Division 3
1. Isaiah Givens (Pasadena)
2. Luke Stefanou (Palos Verdes)
3. Jared Steins (Servite)
4. Conor Gibson (West Torrance)
5. Christopher Chavez (St. John Bosco)
6. Ethan Godsey (Agoura)
7. Jordan Galindo (Savanna)
8. Will Kirk (Palos Verdes)
9. Alexandro Vielma (Sonora)
10. Elias Wiggins (Buena)

Division 4
1. Max Sannes (Big Bear)
2. Alex Alvarez (La Salle)
3. Michael Camilo Torres (Fillmore)
4. Yaseen Sardar (Burroughs, Ridgecrest)
5. Brady Nakamura (South Pasadena)
6. Luis Gio Gudiel (Hacienda Heights Wilson)
7. Ethan Parcells (Rim of the World)
8. Emmanuel Hernandez (Cathedral)
9. Emmanuel Perez (Cathedral)
10. Will Sheehy (Harvard Westlake)

Division 5
1. Joshua Thomas (Chadwick)
2. Henry Didden (Viewpoint)
3. Xander Penaflor (Providence)
4. Eyan Turk (Woodcrest Christian)
5. Aidan Urbina (Providence)
6. Luke Zanuck (Windward)
7. Rabbit Barnes (Midland)
8. Everett Capelle (St. Margaret's)
9. Hugo Guckert (Crossroads)
10. Owen Hinz (Temecula Prep)

Mark Gardner is the Southern Section editor for MileSplitCA.

Photos by DeAnna Turner and Raymond Tran.