SCL cross country: Sophomores run the show

El Molino sophomore Brian Schultz beat senior teammate Brady Lane to the finish line by 16 seconds Saturday at Spring Lake to win the Sonoma County League boys individual cross country championship.

“He was in the lead the whole way,” said El Molino coach Heather Rosales after Schultz posted a season-best time of 15 minutes, 57.82 seconds on the 3.1-mile course. Schultz finished in 16:13.62.

“I felt good about the race after we got over the first hill, and I felt strong at the finish,” said Schultz, who said he thought an adjustment to his weight training in the days leading up to the race boosted his performance.

His time, he said, could have been even better but he had to pause at one point because he wasn’t sure which direction the course took.

“Brady helped me out,” Schultz said of Lane, his teammate.

In the girls race, Petaluma sophomore Maddie Parratt turned in the day’s dominant performance. She won the individual championship by a whopping 48-second margin, crossing the finishing line 18:34.77 seconds. Healdsburg senior Ana Drake-Tripp was second in 19:22.03.

Parratt was the second-place finisher in the SCL meet a year ago as a freshman.

Up next for the runners will be the North Coast Section meet Nov. 22 at Hayward High School.

Schultz said he was confident about that assignment, although “there will be a lot of really good runners there.”

The SCL team championships were won by Piner’s boys teams and the Sonoma Valley girls.

It was Piner’s second consecutive league championship. The Prospectors were led by Aidan Carpenter, who finished fifth overall behind the El Molino runners, third-place Dante Capone of Analy and fourth-place Travis Claeys of Sonoma Valley. Piner’s team triumph was built on the team’s depth. The Prospectors placed five runners in the top 20.

Piner finished with 38 points in the team standings, a comfortable margin ahead of second-place Analy, which totaled 52. El Molino, despite its one-two finish, did not qualify for the team competition because Schultz and Lane were the only Lions runners in the field.

Sonoma Valley was led by Quinn Jensen’s third-place finish and a fourth by Maddy Libbey. The Dragons totaled 31 points in the team standings, three ahead of runner-up Petaluma.