RECAP CIF-North Coast Section Cross Country Championships

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This article was updated 11/22 to clarify girls Division 1 results.

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HAYWARD -- Olivia Williams and Caden Carney ran stellar times at the CIF-North Coast Section Cross Country Championships on Saturday at Hayward High School.

Williams, an Acalanes High School sophomore, won the Division 4 title on the three-mile course in 16 minutes, 15.2 seconds. Albany senior Sophia Nordenholz was second in the Division 4 race in 16:33.6. That was the second-best time of the day. No other girl broke 17 minutes.

"For my strategy today, I really just wanted to hang on to Sophia," Williams said. "She's a really incredible runner. I just wanted to pace with her during the run.

"I didn't really have a place that I was planning on making a move but when I felt she was kind of falling behind the pace that I wanted to keep and I felt really strong, I felt I should just go for it. It turned out to be a good move."

Many of the top runners said they had set winning an NCS title as a goal this season. Williams was not among them.

"I didn't have any goals coming into this cross country season," she said. "Since I was so new to it, I really had no experience at all. So it was just improving my time, trying to get PRs so this was a huge unexpected goal! It's really amazing. I feel really excited for state and the future and I can't wait to see what other races come next."

Williams should probably get used to doing so well. She has had a terrific season, winning the De La Salle Nike Invitational in September to get things rolling, then destroying the course record by 28 seconds at Hidden Valley Park at the Diablo Athletic League championships earlier this month.

Tamalpais senior Carney won the first race of the day in the boys Division 3 and set a standard that held up all day - 15:01.0. He was 18 seconds ahead of Maria Carrillo's Jacob Donohue in his race and over 12 seconds better than any other runner.

"It felt pretty good," Carney said. "It was a little muddy out there but I was prepared for that. I went out and the pace felt pretty comfortable. And halfway through the race, I was ready to go."

The most impressive team performance was by Dublin's boys, who not only won the Division 1 race, they swept the first five places for a perfect score of 15, becoming what is believed to be only the second team to do that in the NCS championships. University-San Francisco's girls team took the first five places in Division V in 1998.

Daniel Trampe led the Gaels on Saturday, finishing in 15:13.8. Sharvin Manjrekar was next (15:26.3), followed by Matthew Morgon (15:33.2), Joshua Turpin (15:37.4), and Cole Turpin (15:38.8). All five are seniors. Dublin also took a non-scoring seventh with junior Nathan Manesh finishing in 15:50.3.

"Our coach was really adamant about getting that perfect score," Trampe said. "And I'm super-glad that we did. It's a huge accomplishment."

Trampe said the team goals were his primary motivation, but he was excited to win.

"After the first mile, when I got on the concrete, I wanted to push the pace and try to separate myself from the rest of the pack," he said. "It feels great. It's a nice little bonus. The real goal was to win the meet as a team, but the individual title was good.

Campolindo had a huge day, winning the boys and girls crowns in the Division 3 races. The boys scored 49 points to outdistance Newark Memorial (66) and Maria Carrillo (67). The girls scored 47 points, ahead of Tamalpais, which scored 71.

Montgomery freshman Hanne Thomsen won the girls Division 3 race in 17:18.5.

Granada matched the Cougars, sweeping the boys and girls races in Division 2.

Sophomore Jana Barron led the Matadors in the girls race, winning in 17:53.1. Granada had five finishers in the top 11 to score 32 points. Monte Vista and Redwood tied for second with 84 points, with Monte Vista winning on the better sixth runner.

Granada won the boys race with 37 points. Redwood junior Daegan Cutter won the individual title in 15:22.9, just ahead of the Matadors Roland Ruckmann-Barnes (15:23.6).

Lick-Wilmerding won both of the Division 5 races. The Tigers girls scored 41 points, ahead of University which had 54. Lick-Wilmerding junior Amelie Maltz was the individual champion, winning in 18:07.7.

Senior Alex Mader won the boys race for the Tigers in 15:14.3. Lick-Wilmerding scored 31 points, well ahead of University's 96.

Albany junior Sean Morello ran away with the boys Division 4 race, finishing in 15:16.3. That helped lead the Cougars to the title with 46 points. Archie Williams was second with 89 with Piedmont third at 103.

Dougherty Valley's girls team almost matched Dublin when it took the first four places and five of the top six in scoring 16 points to win the girls Division 1 title. Freshman Sabrina Noriega led the way in 18:09.6, winning the division title as part of a 1-2-3-4-6 finish. Senior Rhea Braganza placed second for Dougherty Valley (18:18.1) followed by senior Eva Shen (18:35.9), senior Kirsten Chan (18:37.1) and sophomore Liana Lee placed sixth in 19:10.1. 

Junior Medha Gowda placed seventh in 19:31.1 to lead Dublin, which placed second with 68 points. 

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Damin Esper is a Bay Area-based freelance writer and regular contributor to MileSplitCA.

Photos by Dan Tyree.