Empire Runners At California High School Championships

Posted by Press Democrat Staff Writer Michael Coit:

A handful of the Empire’s standout cross country runners go into Saturday’s California prep championships with opportunities for top finishes in Fresno.

In Division III, both Luis Luna, of Piner, and Forrest Shaffer, from Petaluma, are ranked in the state’s top ten after finishing first and second, respectively, in last week’s North Coast Section finals. Second place NCS Division II finisher Paul Holden, from Ukiah, could surprise at the state meet.

Among the top girls, NCS Division II winner Ashley Moffett, of Casa Grande, and Lauren Kraus, from Maria Carrillo, who was third in NCS Division III are aiming to finish high in their fields.

Luna and Shaffer will lead their teams in Division III after both qualified out of the North Coast Section, with Petaluma ranked third in California.

Petaluma’s other top runners are Ryan Douglas, Kevin Poteracke, Clark Bernard and Seth Yungert.

Piner’s other top runners are Jaime Silva, Jason Saler, Epi Nunez and Dylan Ferrell.

The other boys who qualified for the state meet are:

— Division II: Austin Minnick, Casa Grande, and Jose Mendoza, Montgomery.

–Division III: Daniel Hauptman, Maria Carrillo.

–Division IV: Alexi Taylor, Cardinal Newman, and Valle Rogers, Willits.

–Division V: Evan LaBruzzo, Rincon Valley Christian, Jax Reiff, Sonoma Academy, and Brandon Hicks, Santa Rosa Christian.

The other girls qualifying for the state meet are:

–Division II: Amber Peirsol, Windsor, and Kelly Brooks, Santa Rosa.

–Division IV: Nicole Lane, El Molino.

–Division V: Katy Lee, Sonoma Academy.