With the temperature in the low 60s at Woodward Park in Fresno, the running conditions could not have been better for Newbury Park High at the CIF state cross-country championships on Saturday. Fans came from across the state to see a historic team run.
Coach Sean Brosnan had kept the wraps on his runners at last week’s Southern Section finals when his top six boys’ runners took the first six places in the three-mile Division 1 race, but this time he let everyone know they were cleared to run as fast as they could.
For the first two miles, four Newbury Park runners were separated by a mere second. The nearest non-Newbury Park runner was eight seconds behind. By the finish, Newbury Park had swept the top four spots to win the team title with a state-record 16 points. The old record was 23 points by Thousand Oaks in 1993. The team time of 73:23 also was a course record.
Colin Sahlman, the reigning Gatorade national runner of the year, won in 14 minutes 26.5 seconds. Next was Leo Young at 14:28, followed by Lex Young at 14:30.3 and Aaron Sahlman at 14:46.4. That’s two sets of brothers dominating the best in California. Newbury Park’s No. 5 runner, Daniel Appleford, finished seventh.
The last time the state meet was run in 2019, Colin Sahlman finished fifth in the Division II race in 15:09.8 when it was won by teammate Nico Young. Sahlman is headed to Northern Arizona in the fall to join Young. His time Saturday set a Division I record and was the second-fastest boys’ time in course.
Temecula Great Oak finished second in the Division I team competition with 119 points.
In Division I girls, the individual race came down to Anna McNatt of Sacramento McClatchy and Sam McDonnell of Newbury Park. McNatt crossed the finish line in 17:07.5. McDonnell was right behind at 17:08.7. Clovis Buchanan took the team title with 51 points. Newbury Park placed second with 72 points.
In Division II boys, Jai Dawson of Dana Hills took first in 15:19.1. San Luis Obispo won the team title. In Division II girls, Dalia Frias of Manhattan Beach Mira Costa won in 16:52. Teammate Ella Parsey finished fourth to help the Mustangs win the Division II team title.
West Torrance won the Division III boys championship. Conor Gibson finished second at 15:12.9.
In Division IV boys, Max Sannes of Big Bear won in 15:00.5. JSerra won the Division IV girls’ championship.
Here’s the link to complete results.