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Pair of aces at Oakmont; full hand at Woodcreek

Garcia, Carino run away from pack at Del Oro Invite
By: Bill Poindexter/Roseville Press Tribune Sports Editor
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Karlie Garcia took off and left everyone behind Thursday in the varsity girls race at the Del Oro Invite in Loomis. Oakmont High School teammate Marisa Carino was a distant second to Garcia but far ahead of the third-place runner.

Later, Woodcreek won the varsity boys title by placing four runners in the top seven, including a 3-4-5 finish.

Oakmont appears to have the best 1-2 punch around in the girls division and is looking for growth throughout the rest of the lineup to make a run at team championships. Woodcreek’s boys may not have that one go-to ace, but the Timberwolves return six of the seven runners from last season’s Sac-Joaquin Section Division II championship team.

Here is a look at the cross country season:

Oakmont
Garcia advanced to the national meet in 2009 and finished 15th overall, second
among freshmen, but missed last season because of an ailment. Carino advanced to the State Meet in cross country last fall and track and field last spring.

Where will that lead the Vikings?

“Hopefully, to state,” coach Ryan Nugent said Thursday. “We’re still sizing up what the section has.”

The Roseville area will provide enough competition as it is. Oakmont finished third Thursday behind Woodcreek and Granite Bay.

Garcia was timed in 14 minutes, 48 seconds over the 2½-mile course at Del Oro High School. Carino, who won the inaugural Oakmont Invitational last Saturday, finished 43 seconds behind Garcia at 15:31.

“Marisa is … just touching the surface of what she can do,” Nugent said. “She’s starting to believe in the fact she’s an elite runner now. She has the talent to really set herself apart as one of the top girls in the section.”

Oakmont now is looking to solidify its lineup. Nugent pointed to “a ton of talent” that could change the Vikings’ three through seven slots each week.

Senior Nyralee Chhotu finished seventh in the section two years ago and is getting into distance shape again following an ailment. Freshman Kylie Michaels finished 21st Thursday in her first varsity race. Sisters Grace and Georgia Cambra could be in the top five, and junior Mika Davidian is improving in a new sport after playing volleyball last fall.

Woodcreek
The Timberwolves won the varsity boys and girls titles Thursday and blew away
the frosh-soph and JV boys fields.

There is one issue: Woodcreek has just 11 girls on its team.

“Our boys are looking strong all the way across. The girls team has some great talent, just low numbers this year,” coach Terri McKillop said. “We couldn’t get any freshmen out.”

Woocreek still had enough to beat Granite Bay for the title by nine points. Karina Nunes (15:51) finished fourth and Sami Gomez (16:25) ninth. McCall Habermehl (16:51), Ciara Donnelly (16:58) and Brooke O’Brien (17:04) finished 14th, 15th and 16th.

Seniors Hunter Tyler (13:18) and Brandon Biando (13:19) and junior Jon Horvath (13:20) gave the Timberwolves a 3-4-5 finish that led to a varsity boys title.
Sophomore Taylor Guinnip (13:22) finished seventh, and wrestler Austin Mason (13:52) was 13th.

Biando earned the Sierra Foothill League MVP honor last fall in leading Woodcreek to the league title. The Timberwolves also won the Division II section crown.

McKillop said Woodcreek “should do well all the way through (this season) if we can keep them running in that pack.”

Granite Bay

The Grizzlies lost Brooke Holt and Christine Zavesky to graduation, and
sophomore Clare Carroll transferred to Vista del Lago.

And where did that leave Granite Bay in the Del Oro Invite? In second place behind Woodcreek.

Carla Kehoe, co-coaching with Kevin Pool, said all four levels are strong, and the varsity boys are young after junior Trent Brendel, who finished second Thursday, eight seconds behind winner Trevor Stephens (12:56) of Del Oro.

Sophomores Will Greenwood, Andy Moudakis, Weston Holt (Brooke’s cousin), Jeff Ritter, Matt Clement and freshman Sam Neptune will help the Grizzlies.

Katie Mersereau (16:05) finished sixth in the varsity girls race, and Granite Bay placed five runners in the top 20: senior Natalie Hassna in 10th (16:27), Allison Daly in 13th (16:43), Rylee McKeon 19th (17:11) in her first race and junior Megan Barnett, a sprinter-turned-distance runner who finished 20th (17:34).

“First varsity race and she medaled,” Kehoe said.

Roseville

Shayna Powless leads the Tigers in the varsity girls division. She finished fifth at
Del Oro in 16 minutes. Roseville’s next finishers were Morgan Simpson in 36th and Megan McColley in 38th.

Logan Stahl was 41st (14:58) in the varsity boys race, and Roseville finished 13th.

The Tigers have an up-and-coming freshman in Arturo Sotomayor, who clocked a 14:26 to win the frosh-soph race. Sotomayor also won the Oakmont Invitational last Saturday.