The meets on the West Coast are starting to gain momentum and we will begin with the biggest meet held on our coast - Woodbridge.
Woodbridge Invitational - September 15 & 16
Woodbridge Invitational returns to Irvine for the first time since 2015 and it is a two day event. Here is what to look for on Friday evening's sweepstake races.
Buchanan girls team will get a chance to compete against nationally ranked teams. Led by seniors Sydney Sundgren and Grace Hutchinson, the Bears of Buchanan look to show that they are the class of California. To add to Buchanan's depth, freshman Kynzlee Buckley is having a great start to the season. Out of state teams like Arapahoe of Colorado and Flower Mound of Texas will try to challenge Buchanan. JSerra of Orange County, Newbury Park and Great Oak will also add depth to the meet and northern California teams like Granada and Oak Ridge will also get a chance to challenge teams in the race. Sadie Englehardt of Ventura is the individual favorite and opened her season with a win at UCSB in a course record time. Payton Godsey of Oaks Christian has started the season with an impressive league win and freshman Cameron Marcias of Clovis West opened her season in Madera with the fastest time of the meet.
On the boy's side of the sweepstakes, Great Oak showed that they will be a team to be reckoned with. At the Cool Breeze Invitational, Great Oak won both the sweepstake and and D1/D2 races. Brothers Ramses and Mark Cortes lead the Wolfpack. Out of state teams that will be in the hunt for the team title include Southlake of Texas, The Woodlands of Texas, Mountain View of Utah, Crater of Oregon and Herriman of Utah which is led by former Great Oak coach Doug Soles. Aaron Sahlman is running individually for Newbury Park and Chris Caudillo of Clovis will be another individual to watch. Matthew Donis of Highland won Cool Breeze and Jason Parra of Millikan is one of the fastest juniors in California. Tyrone Gorze of Crater and Liam Heninger of Mountain View are other individual athletes that can factor in the race.
We will be at Friday's varsity races at Woodbridge and look for our photo gallery (and ask for a West Coast XC sticker!)
Meriwether CC Classic - September 16
Liberty High School hosts a Friday afternoon meet on the Meriwether Golf Course. Several preseason ranked girl's teams are in the meet including 6A teams #4 Sunset, #6 Central Catholic #8 Lake Oswego and #9 Sherwood. Individual athletes vying for Friday's win will be Ana Peters of Lake Oswego, Ella McGillis of Central Catholic, Sara Abbott of Sprague and Paige Wiley of Sunset.
In the preseason poll, 6A teams #3 Central Catholic, #6 Sunset and #10 Sherwood are entered as well as #4 5A South Albany. Individual athletes to watch on Friday will be Wes Shipsey of Central Catholic, Logan Law of Milwaukie, William Heslam of Roosevelt and Zander Campbell of South Albany.
We will be at Meriwether and look for the photo gallery afterwards.
Northwest Classic - September 17
Oregon schools arrive in Eugene at Saturday's Northwest Classic as a chance to go against the best in the state and preview the state meet course.
Summit girls make the trip over the mountains and they have been dominating Oregon cross country since the school's opening. Summit won the 6A state title last fall and now will compete in 5A this season. Lincoln (OR) is having a nice start of the season and will test themselves against Summit. West Salem, Franklin, Ida B Wells and South Eugene are other teams in the team race hunt. Individuals to look for include Keira Saavedra of Lincoln, Josie Fale of Ida B Wells, Eva Novy-Hildesley of Lincoln, Sadie Drucker of St. Mary's Academy, Nelida Dalsgas of North Salem, Emily Wisniewski of Crescent Valley, Ella Thorsett and Barrett Justema of Summit.
The PIL (Portland) schools of Ida B Wells, Lincoln and Franklin will be the teams hoping to win the team championship in the boy's race. Look for West Salem to try to break up those three teams. Sheldon of Eugene also has a deep team. Samy Anderson of Lincoln, Jack Meier of West Salem, Jonah Donde of Sheldon, and Kai Mitchell- Reiss of Ida B Wells have some of the top marks in the early season.
Fort Steilacoom XC Invitational - September 17
Teams from all over Washington (and a few Oregon Schools) head over to the westside of the state in Lakewood, near Tacoma, for a big early season meet. Many of the girl's teams on the preseason poll will be at Fort Steilacoom including 4A #3 Tahoma, #9 Camas, #10 Eisenhower, 3A #3 Central Kitsap #5 Peninsula, #6 Stadium, #8 Mead, #10 Lake Washington, 2A #2 Sehome, 1A #2 Bush and Oregon schools Wilsonville and Tigard. Individuals to watch include Isabela Alvarado of Eisenhower, Eliza White of Curtis, Sara Sanders of Tahoma, Tali Braester of Lincoln (Seattle), Julia Couch of Auburn Riverside, Elektra Higgins and Hannah Lee of Peninsula, Kaia Szmyczak of Sehome and Sabine Kim of Tigard.
The boys have preseason 4A #4 Tahoma, #7 Camas, #9 Curtis, 3A #5 Lakes, #10 Mead, 2A #3 Sehome, #5 Tumwater, 1A #2 Bush and Wilsonville of Oregon. Individuals in the front pack include Cruize Corvin and Zander Trevino of Lakes, John Hoffer of Tumwater, Zach Munson of Sehome, Caleb Wilcox of Steilacoom and Carter Cutting of Wilsonville.
South Whidbey Carl Westling Invite - September 17
The 43rd annual South Whidbey Invitational competes on Saturday. Preseason 4A #8 Lake Stevens girl's team heads the field with 2A #5 Bellingham and #10 White River looking for the team championship as well. Sophia Inglin of King's, Aliyah Yearian of Port Townsend and Ailee Yoshida and Kenzie Seymour of Redmond.
The boy's field is deep with preseason top ten poll teams including #8 Kamiak, 3A #6 Arlington, 2A #2 Bellingham, #8 Cedarcrest, 1A #6 Meridian and #7 Cedar Park Christian. Individual favorites are Will Giesen of Bellingham, Zachary Leader and Modesto Estrada of Redmond, Sebastian Manza of Port Townsend, Jayden Chase and Will Leysna of Kamiak.
We will be at the South Whidbey Invitational and look for the photo gallery.