SCL Cross Country Championship: Sonoma Valley, El Molino pace pack


Sonoma Valley’s Alex Conner and El Molino’s Nicole Lane dominated the Sonoma County cross country championships on a cold Saturday morning at Spring Lake.

The Sonoma Valley boys also won the overall team category, paving the way for the first shared SCL cross country league title in five seasons. The Dragons scored 32 points, outdistancing Casa Grande, which tallied 77 points for second place Saturday. Perennial powerhouse Petaluma came in third with 80 points, and because of its weighted performance from the regular season, shares the championship with Sonoma Valley.

On the girls side, only four schools had the minimum five runners to place. Petaluma scored 44 points to edge out Casa Grande (47) and Windsor (51) for the overall team victory.

A sidenote about Conner’s first-place time of 15:15 is that after the first 400 meters of the race, one of Conner’s shoelaces came undone. The senior shook off the distraction, crediting his fast start as the reason for his victory.

“I took (the lead) out in the beginning, (because) I knew the Petaluma guys would be fit,” Conner said.

Coming in second and third were a pair from Petaluma, Ryan Douglas (15:41) and Kevin Poteracke (15:49), with Conner’s Sonoma Valley teammate Chris Tose finishing fourth at 16:26. Rounding out the top five was El Molino’s Rodrigo Vargas with a time of 16:36.

Lane blew away the competition with a time of 17:30, far ahead of her closest competitor, Casa Grande’s Ashley Moffett, who crossed the finish line 48 seconds later at 18:18. Over the two days of competition, Lane had the top girls time in the Empire, besting the winning time of 18:11 by Piner’s Kyra Johnson on Friday in the NBL championships.

Coming in third for the girls Saturday was Windsor’s Victoria Tomaszewski at 18:41.Petaluma’s Jessica O’Hanlon finished fourth at 19:03, 3 seconds ahead of Windsor’s Amber Peirsol, fifth at 19:06.