East County Sports

Harriers in stride at Wolf Pack invite

Runners set to start at the Wolf Pack Invitational on Friday. / Vic Marano




ECS staff report

SANTEE —- Steele Canyon proved to be the front-runner in cross country, opening the 2021 season by taking five of the eight divisions in the annual Wolf Pack Invitational at West Hills High.

The Cougars took home three of the four divisions among the girls’ teams on Friday (Aug. 27), while taking a pair of boys crowns. Each gender had four races, one for each grade level.

However, the biggest surprise came in the Boys Seniors flight, as Point Loma took home the title with an excellent team score of 54 points, out-distancing runner-up Valhalla (92).

The medalist was Jimmy Nyland of Hilltop, the defending champion among Juniors last spring — the 2021 season was delayed six months due to the pandemic. Nyland tackled the 2.1-mile course in 10:03, winning by eight seconds over Chris Chavez of St. John Bosco, a private school in the Los Angeles County community of Bellflower.

The best East County finisher was a fifth-place spot by Dom Villarruel, of El Capitan.

Juan Pablo Arredondo led Steele Canyon to the Boys Juniors crown with a medalist effort of 10:32, nipping Cougars teammate Brad Bell by five seconds.

In the Boys Sophomores, Olympian slid past Point Loma for the team title, while the Boys Frosh went to Steele Canyon. The top local finisher was newcomer Juan Pablo Arredondo, of Granite Hills, who took second place over Johnny Webb of El Capitan.

On the girls’ side, Steele Canyon took every race except the Sophs, only because they didn’t have enough runners in the category. But the depth of the Cougars was in full display in the other competitions.

The Girls Seniors was dominated by Sophie Compton of Point Loma, one of the CIF San Diego Section’s most versatile athletes, who can run anywhere from sprints to distance events.

Compton covered a 1.5-mile layout in a spectacular 8:51, winning by a remarkable margin of 95 seconds over Alyssa Kasyouhannon, of Valhalla (10:26), followed by Steele’s Brenda Alvarez (10:29).

In Girls Juniors, the Cougars nipped Granite Hills for the title, 28-30, while Helix finished in a deadlock for third place.

However, the medalist was Mikayla Horning, of Santana, who finished third in the Grossmont Conference medalist standings last season.

Samanta Mauzy (El Capitan) was third, Kelly Cahill (Granite Hills) was fourth, then Steele Canyon had three runners –Yareli Alverez, Brooklyn Sitta, and Eryka Garcia — place among the top ten finishers.

The Sophs team title went to Valhalla; the individual medalist was Jullian Rudolph, of El Capitan.

The Frosh team crown went to Steele Canyon; the Cougars’ Taylor Carter garnered the medal.


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