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Granite Bay's Brendel, Bell ring in cross country season

Senior, freshman win varsity races at Del Oro Invite
By: Bill Poindexter/Roseville Press Tribune Sports Editor
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LOOMIS — It took Trent Brendel four years to win the varsity boys race in the Del Oro Invite. Granite Bay cross country teammate Maggie Bell will have no such wait.

Brendel was the first of three runners to break the course record in the varsity boys race Thursday night, clocking 12 minutes, 45 seconds over a 4,000-meter course (about 2½ miles) that toured the varsity baseball field, a soccer field and woods before finishing in the north end zone of the football stadium at Del Oro High School.

The Grizzlies came up one point short of boys team champion Placer, but Bell rung in her high school debut with a 38-second margin of victory over Oakmont junior stalwart Marisa Carino, and Granite Bay cleared host Del Oro by nine points to score the varsity girls team title.

Brendel finished third in the event as a freshman and was the runner-up the last two years.

“Finally, this year,” a smiling Brendel said. “This is a nice conclusion to my Del Oro experience. I wanted it really bad, so I just took it.”

Roseville sophomore Neilson Powless was the runner-up in 12:50. Third-place finisher Caton Avilla of Pleasant Grove also clocked 12:50, and fourth-place Toby Qualls of Placer matched the old record of 12:52.

Brendel said he learned from last year’s race, when he went into the lead too soon and eventually was passed.

“This year, I got out front but not too far,” Brendel said, adding he was holding back while setting the pace with the front four. “I knew what I had to do at the end.”

A fifth-place finished by Jon Horvath in 13:06 and an eighth by Justin Clark in 13:17 led Woodcreek to second place behind Placer, which won with 73 points to the Timberwolves’ 74.

Bell won in 14:58. Carino was second in 15:36, and Granite Bay’s Katie Mersereau was fifth in 15:49 for the champion Grizzlies, who had 62 points. Del Oro was second with 71. Woodcreek, paced by Karina Nunes’ sixth-place finish in 16:05, was fifth with 151, two points better than Oakmont.

Woodcreek runners won both frosh-soph races with Luis Romo clocking 13:53 in the boys race and Lauren Mason and teammate Teresa Zortman running 1-2 in the girls race in 16:44 and 16:58. Oakmont’s Kylie Michaels finished fourth in 17:12.

Woodcreek’s frosh-soph boys had 54 points to Oakmont’s 69. The Timberwolves had two other runners in the top 10: Adam Clarke in seventh in 14:18 and Ben Wilburn in 10th in 14:44.

Oakmont runners Ian Miller and Logan Taggart finished sixth and eighth in 14:17 and 14:34.