MEETS ON TAP Busy Weekend of Cross Country in CA and Beyond

Division 1 Sophomore Girls are pictured rolling over the early part of the course at the 2021 Dana Hills Invitational. (Jeffrey Parenti photo)

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Raider Invite

Date: Sept. 23

Site: at College Park in Oxnard

Host: Channel Islands HS. 

What to know: The marquee program scheduled here is Ventura (SS), whose boys team is ranked No. 5 in the latest MileSplitCA Southern Section Top 25 and Ventura's girls are ranked No. 10. Sophomore sensation Sadie Engelhardt is scheduled to compete while training through with eyes toward the Clovis Invitational in two weeks. 

Dana Hills Invitational

Date: Sept. 24

Site: Dana Hills High School

What to know: Roughly 120 teams and 4,400 athletes drawing primarily from the Southern Section with solid representation from the San Diego Section, plus a few teams from the Los Angeles City Section are scheduled to take on this venerable 3-mile campus course. The meet is divided into three divisions with grade races in each. Top SS schools include the host school, Ayala, JSerra, Mira Costa, Palos Verdes, Portola, St. Margaret's, San Clemente, Santa Monica, Tesoro, Trabuco Hills. Top SDS teams include Canyon Crest Academy, Eastlake, La Costa Canyon and Mt. Carmel. LAC reps include Hamilton and Venice. Last year, Sage Creek (SD) senior Bryce Gilmore ran 14:13 to break a course record that had been held since 1983. Most of the top boys from '21 either graduated or are not returning. The top returner from the merge of last fall's meet is Fountain Valley (SS) senior Benjamin Prado, who placed seventh in the merge in 15:00.2. Senior Juan Chantaca, 12th last year in 15:08.9, leads the returning champion San Clemente (SS) boys team. The top five girls eligible returners from '21 are scheduled to take the line including '21 champion Hannah Riggins, a senior at Del Norte (SD), runner-up Aishling Callanan, a senior at Peninsula, plus Dana Hills senior Allura Markow (5th last year), Santiago-Corona sophomore Rylee Blade (7th), and Del Norte sophomore Emily Russo (8th). 

Bob Firman Invitational

Date: Sept. 24

Site: Eagle Island State Park, Eagle, ID

What to know: More than 150 teams from across the western U.S. including Great Oak and Vista Murrieta from the same league (Southwestern) in the Southern Section and Northern Section power University Prep. Great Oak's boys are nationally ranked and the Wolfpack girls among the best in CA. 

William Jessup Invite

Date: Sept. 24

Site: William Jessup University, Rocklin, CA

What to know: More than 35 teams over the challenging 5K course mostly from the Sac-Joaquin Section. Jesuit, Nevada Union, St. Francis, Whitney are among the teams scheduled to compete from the SJS along with Northern Section power Chico. 

Portland XC

Date: Sept. 24

Site: Blue Lake Regional Park, Portland, OR

What to know: More than a dozen CA teams are scheduled to make the trip including Claremont, Clovis North, Granada Hills, Long Beach Poly, Madera South, Millikan, and Redondo Union. Individuals Jude DeVries and Hanne Thomsen of Montgomery (NC) are among CA athletes scheduled to run as individuals. 

Westmoor Ram Invitational

Date: Sept. 24

Site: Westmoor HS, Daly City, CA

What to know: This 2.7-mile campus layout will play host to some of the top teams from the Central Coast Section and San Francisco Section, primarily. Bellarmine College Prep (CC), Crystal Springs Uplands (CC), Galileo (SF), Lowell (SF), Menlo (CC), Scotts Valley (CC) are among the headline programs scheduled to take the line. Scotts Valley junior Ashlyn Boothby is the defending champion. She went 15:40 in the '21 race. Her older sister Amber Boothby, a senior, and Crystal Springs Uplands senior Kaiya Brooks are other top returners scheduled to compete. Menlo senior Justin Pretre was third last year among the boys and is the top scheduled returner. He went 13:38. His brother, sophomore Landon Pretre, is coming off a stellar performance at Woodbridge, along with seniors Maximilian Hohendorf of Woodside (CC) and Casey Nuti of Willow Glen (CC) are other top returners scheduled to race.