30 Girls XC Teams to Watch: Cathedral Catholic (SD)

It's time to get fired up for cross country! Our traditional XC countdown is back, although it may look a little different this time around - our longtime data analyst Jeff George has moved on, leaving this energizing project to the MileSplit team in CA. Our collective goal is to briefly highlight 30 boys and 30 girls teams that we think will have an impact this fall. We will spotlight one team per gender per day over a 30-day period. Similar to past countdowns, we will provide a cross-sampling of teams from all 10 sections without regard to statewide or even division ranking (those will come later, as will articles previewing each section, and returning athletes to watch). As always, if you catch an error or have updated information for us, email CA state editor Jeffrey Parenti (jeffrey.parenti@flosports.tv) and we'll make the corrections.

Cathedral Catholic (SD/Division 3)

This team was rated No. 1 in Division 3 for much of 2021 after a stunning performance at Mt. SAC.  In the San Diego Section finals, the Dons dominated by placing all five scorers in the top 10 with just 33 seconds between runners 1 and 5. But coach Dan Geiger knew something few did -- several of the Dons runners had been battling a bad virus. Although the team ran at the State Meet, all seven runners were either in the early or late stages of illness. The 1-5 gap was still only 46 seconds but the entire team was slower, especially sophomore Scarlett Martin, a mainstay, who went from No. 2 on the team to a non-scoring No. 6.

Forget about feeling sorry for Cathedral Catholic as five of the seven return, with the major loss being Lexi Arambulo, who improved from No. 7 on the team in the section meet to No. 2 in 30th at state. Expected improvement should again make the Dons No. 1 in the section with the return of No. 1 Alexandria Pena (18:25.3), No. 2 Martin (18:38.0), No. 3 Keira Rall (18:42.4), No. 4 Chiara Bonomi (18:57.3) and No. 6 Elaine Hobrock (19:08.0) plus sometimes No. 7 or 8 runner Madelyn Basinet.

Pena, now an experienced junior, clocked an 11:03.03 for 3200 in track while Martin (11:06.2) and soph Bonomi (11:10.08) were right behind.

It seems Cathedral Catholic annually either has a freshman or a late transfer to make things interesting.

2021 Returning Times for 5000 Meters

Cathedral Catholic (SD) 
1) Alexandria Pena18:45.0079
2) Chiara Bonomi18:46.0080
3) Scarlett Martin18:51.0092
4) Keira Rall18:56.00106
5) Elaine Hobrock19:29.70193
Average Time: 18:57.54 Total Time: 1:34:47.70 1-5 Split: 44.70
6) Madelyn Basinet20:08.00320
7) Anne Temprendola21:19.00614
Scoring is against all California teams with returning girls.

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Steve Brand is a freelance writer and a regular contributor to MileSplit

Photos by Phil Grooms and Angel Pena