Petaluma cross country leaving SCL competition in dust

The Petaluma boys’ and girls’ cross country teams lead the Sonoma County League pack again with the prep cross country season in full swing.

The Petaluma boys and girls both won in an always-competitive dual meet with crosstown rival Casa Grande on Wednesday at Martinelli Ranch. Top runners in that meet also are expected to be strong in the league finals and at the North Coast Section meet.

The winner was Forrest Shaffer — one of the best in the NCS with Division III wins at both the Stanford and Clovis invitationals. Following in the dual meet were Shaffer’s teammates Kevin Poteracke, Ryan Douglas and Clark Bernard, with Austin Minnick the top Casa Grande finisher in fifth. While he finished eighth, Ben Tarango, of Casa Grande, is another top returner from last year.

Casa’s Ashley Moffet won the girls’ race, followed by Kirby Franklin and Francesca Honey, both from Petaluma.

Other SCL runners who should be competitive at section finals include Amber Piersol of Windsor, and Nicole Lane from El Molino among the girls, and Windsor’s Michael Llamas in the boys’ field.

— Michael Coit, The Press Democrat