Team: JSerra (SS) 122
Top Individual Storyline
Could this be the race of the day between two-time Southern Section champion Payton Godsey
(Oaks Christian) and two-time Central Coast Section champion Ashlyn Boothby
While these two juniors appear in a class by themselves, the division is not short on talent. Last year's runner-up, Olivia Williams
(Acalanes/NC) decided not to compete this year after running 16:57 (No. 4 all-time in the division), elevating Boothby, third last year, to the crosshairs of top returner. Boothby's time here last year of 17:28 ranks No. 9 all-time in the division.
Godsey was fifth last year at State (17:36), just ahead of Laguna Hills (SS) sophomore Holly Barker
(sixth in 18:13) and Alhambra (NC) junior Renae Searls
, who placed eighth (18:20).
The only meeting this season between Boothby and Godsey was at the Oct. 8 Clovis Invitational on the State Meet course at Woodward Park. There, Boothby placed seventh in the Girls Championship race, running 17:44.30, 17.20 seconds slower than her '21 State Meet time. Godsey, in an otherwise exceptional season, had an off meet, running 18:20.50 for 25th place. Throw that one out with the trash.
But others in the division who could push the front if not fight for top-10 podium spots include San Diego Section champion Chiara Dailey
, a freshman from La Jolla, her junior teammate Kirra Fisk
, and any number of girls from JSerra, the defending team champion and favorite to repeat.
Top Team Storyline
Defending champion JSerra (SS) is among the nation's elite, proven once again by the Lions' top placement in the merge from the Southern Section championships.
Coach Chase Frazier's team is deep and interchangeable. Freshman Summer Wilson
was fourth in the SS Finals, sophomore Brynn Garcia
placed seventh, frosh Kaylah Tasser
was 11th, junior Georgia Jeanneret
ran No. 4, and senior Anastasia Snodgrass
was right behind her as the Lions gapped at 59 seconds, scored 56 points and beat Godsey's Oaks Christian team by 45 points in the deeply competitive division.
Garcia ran No. 1 for JSerra at both Woodbridge and Clovis, and seniors Brooke O'Brien
and Ellie Johnson
have also figured in the scoring along the way.
Results of the Southern Section race very well may translate here, with Oaks Christian, La Canada, Palos Verdes, South Pasadena, Bishop Amat and Harvard Westlake all looking for podium spots against the likes of La Jolla (SD), Scotts Valley (CC), and St. Mary's College (NC).