Eastern League XC News

By Tom Sweet, Special Eastern League XC Correspondent 

Eastern League Championships November 6, 2012

Anyone watching the award ceremony at Morley Field had to be impressed. Henry runners lined up in record numbers. All four teams won their respective team races, some with larger margins than others. In all the races, Henry runners were at or near the front, but cross country scoring requires that each of the runners wins their “mini-race” with the competitors around them. A good example is the one point victory in the boys’ JV race, where the victory was not assured until the fifth runners finished. In the varsity boys’ race, you saw another key to victory, running as a pack, with Chris Tammadge, Ryan Jones, and Jon Gonzalez separated by less than seven seconds. Full results on athletic.net are linked from the team page. San Diego track magazine should soon have pictures of the awards ceremony. Here’s how the four races went……

The varsity boys led off the meet with a fast, competitive race. Jorge Matt-Navarro, Eric Cota, and Point Loma’s Ricky Sweet separated from the pack early in the race. Jorge and Ricky battled side by side in the last mile, with Ricky winning the final sprint to the finish line in 15:57.34 to Jorge’s 15:57.96. The times were the fastest recorded this year on the modified City course.  Cota finished third, followed by Duke of Point Loma and Saddler of Scripps. At this point, Henry’s depth took over with Tate Graham (6th), Chris Tammadge (8th), Ryan Jones (9th), Jonathan Gonzalez (10th), and Jack Studley (12th) closing out the team scoring. Henry won with 25 points for its first five, and benefitted from Jon and Jack pushing other teams top five to higher places. Point Loma’s places of 1-5-11-15-17 earned a score of 47, with Scripps placing 4-7-13-16-23, for 58 points. Mira Mesa finished fourth win a team score of 124 points, followed by Morse with 147.

Hannah Kay defended her league varsity girls title by running uncontested over the final two miles, finishing in 18:42. Frosh Carly Josephson moved up on Henry’s top ten all-time results by finishing second in 19:10. Scripps soph Toni Bronars placed third in 19:26, followed by junior Sara Bagnell of Point Loma in 19:34. McKenna Kull ran the race of her life in 19:37 to edge Ella Verhees of Point Loma for fifth. Sylvia Longworth became the fourth Henry runner under 20 minutes with a PR of 19:54 for seventh. Camille Jorgensen ran her best race of the year in 20:29.  Gio Dowell (13th) and Sammy Emery (15th) contributed to the team competition by displacing other team’s scorers.  Katie O’Nell, Alex Shade, and Natalie Teaze completed the varsity squad. Henry’s team depth was key to the victory, as the Patriots placed four runners in front of Scripps’ #2 and eight ahead of Point Loma’s #3.  Team scores had Henry with 26 points, Scripps 42, and Point Loma 64, Mira Mesa 117. Morse moved girls to the JV race and did not field a full squad.

The JV Boys provided the closest competition of the day. Nathan Salas led the entire race, winning in 17:15 to set the stage, Mike Running (3rd) passed the #2 Point Loma runner just after the volleyball court, finishing in 17:38, and Brady Clement (9th) ran 18:18 with a three second gap over the #4 pointer to seal the one point victory. Axel placed 6th with a fast 17:50. The one-point margin matched the margin of the opening JV race score of Henry 27 and Point Loma 28. Mira Mesa’s freshman Philip Dorado ran for the varsity team all season, but moved down to the JV race, earning a 6th place medal. With Henry and Point Loma filling thirteen of the first fourteen places, the close competition is sure to continue next year.

The JV Girls race was a bit of a mystery coming into the meet. All three top teams had moved runners back and forth between varsity and JV all season. Mariel Nelson and Emily O’Sullivan helped clarify the situation by finishing 1-2 after Emily had pushed the lead for most of the race. Their times, 21:06 and 21:07 respectively, would have placed them in the top 20 of the varsity race. Mizuki Olivares finished a strong fourth in 21:17, followed by veteran Sierra Boek in seventh at 21:39, Vida Ordonez in eleventh at 22:19, Serena in twelfth at 22:22, and Johanna medaling in fourteenth at 22:23. All finished ahead of Scripps’ #5 runner, who fell back to twenty-second place. Our girls can’t be over-confident next year. All but one of the Scripps and Point Loma girls were freshmen or sophomores.

Team Scores: Henry 25   Scripps Ranch 45   Point Loma   61   Mira Mesa 112    Morse 155

These notes haven’t included much information about the Mira Mesa and Morse teams.  Mira Mesa continues to impress me with its large numbers of hard working boys and girls. The league owes thanks to Coach Paul Swanson whose timing, bar-coded tags, and results processing make everyone’s job easier.  Morse High fielded its largest team in several years this year. Individuals Jorge Guzman and Melodie Galvan consistently led their team in dual meets. Wish them well when you see them at CIF.

Eastern League Team Champions are determined by counting dual meet standings and league meet standings equally. The Henry varsity teams were undefeated in dual meets, so they also won the league championship. The JV Boys team lost to Mira Mesa, but gave Point Loma its only defeat. Henry’s narrow victory in the League Meet earned the League title.  The JV Girls team title was shared by Henry, Point Loma, and Scripps, based on a combination of the finish order and the dual meet results.

Being a math guy, I’ll put things in numbers. There are five teams in the league. All four Henry teams won team victories.  Three of the Henry teams won season team championships, with the fourth sharing the team title. Three of the races were won by Henry runners.  Twenty-eight team medals were awarded to Henry runners. Twenty- nine individual medals were won.

City Conference-Eastern LeagueWeek 4  Tuesday Oct 30

The final set of dual meets in the Eastern League Season was held on a sunny, breezy, cool day, ideal for good performances.  Running at near full strength, the Henry varsity teams put up the best times of the Eastern League season to top Scripps Ranch. Mira Mesa’s numbers overwhelmed an improved Morse team, while Point Loma had the week off.  Next week’s competition will pit all five schools in each of the four races. At the conclusion of the meet, awards will be presented to the top individuals in each race, the top seven runners from each winning team, and to the top individuals from each grade level.

Henry vs Scripps Ranch

The varsity girls’ competition was expected to be close, as Scripps returns most  of the girls who defeated Henry in the dual meet last year (but lost the league meet) as they shared the league title with the Patriot ladies. Hannah Kay ran 18:42, which is the fastest time by any girl this year on the modified City Conference course.  Soph Toni Bronars of Scripps Ranch lowered he season best by over 40 seconds in placing second.  Frosh Carly Josephson raced to 3rd in 19:26, followed by a rejuvenated Alex Shade in 4th with a time of 19:48. Emily Erlenbach took 5th in 19:52, just ahead of Sylvia Longworth (6th in 20:01.78) and McKenna Kull (7th in 2:05.78) locked up the team victory. After three Scripps girls closed out their top five, Henry runners Katie O’Nell (11th in 20:46), Sammy Emery (12th in 20:52), Camille Jorgensen (13th in 20:54), Gio Dowell (14th in 20:57), and Natalie Teaze (16th in 21:09) also ran outstanding times.  The team score was Henry 21, Scripps 34.

Henry’s depth in the boys’ race was too much for Scripps. Jorge Matt-Navarro ran a league best of 16:01.4, closely followed by Eric Cota in 16:07.9 to break the race open early.  Jorge’s and Eric’s times convert to sub 16 minutes for a 3-mile course.  Junior Neil Saddler from Scripps finished strong to take third, but was followed by Tate Graham (4th in 16:45.5), frosh Ryan Jones (5th in 16:47.2), Jon Gonzalez (6th in 17:08.3), and Reid Gilbertson (7th in 17:12.6) to lock up the team scoring of 18-44.  Rounding out the Henry competitors were Nick Atchison (9th in 17:18.8), Jack Studley (11th in 17:37.3), Paul Meredith (12th in 17:46.1), and Mike Running (13th in 17:51.9).

The Henry JV boys scored a fine 18-37 victory by taking the first four places and seven of the first twelve spots. Soph Adrian Torres won in 18:22, followed by Brady Clements in 18:30, Axel Kent in 18:34, and Justin Philips in 18:41. Scripps frosh Sanak Miriyala led Scripps in 18:42 before John Fu closed out Henry’s scoring with a time of 19:06.

The JV girls were led by Mizuki’s great finish to win the race in 21:40. The rest of Henry’s scorers were Sierra Boek (4th in 22:19), Vida Ordonez (6th in 22:33), Johanna Matt-Navarro (8th in 22:50), and Serena Vesprini-Heidrich (10th in 23:08). Scripps Ranch salvaged some success by winning the last race by a narrow margin of 26-29.

 The Mira Mesa – Morse competition consisted of combined races, with Mira Mesa winning all four matchups to gain their first victories of the year.

League. Standings (Varsity):         Boys                                  Girls

                                        Patrick Henry   4-0                      Patrick Henry    4-0

                                        Point Loma       3-1                     Scripps Ranch   3-1

                              Scripps Ranch  2-2                     Point Loma        2-2

                                        Mira Mesa       1-3                      Mira Mesa          1-3           

                                        Morse              0-4                      Morse                 0-4

City Conference-Eastern League Week 3  Tuesday Oct 23

This week’s races had two stronger teams sitting some top athletes and seeing very good performances from unheralded runners. The varsity and junior varsity races were combined to save time. After this week, the boys’ league title appears to be secure for Henry, and the girls’ title is up for grabs between Henry and Scripps Ranch in a repeat of last year.

Henry’s varsity boys placed their top five in front, with Chris Tammadge running 16:59 in a solo run. Chris was followed by Jack Studley, Reid Gilbertson, Nick Atchison, and Nathan Salas under 18 minutes. Mira Mesa’s first finisher was 9th grader Philip Dorado in 18:09, leading four junior and senior teammates.  Also running in the varsity race for Henry were Brady Clements, Axel Kent, Adrian Torres, John Fu, and Justin Philips.

In the Point Loma – Morse race, Point Loma was led by sophomore Robert Sanchez in an impressive time of 17:15. His teammates filled six of the next seven spots to sweep Morse. Jorge Guzman led Morse with a time of 18:21.

Boys Scores:       Henry 15 Mira Mesa 40         Point Loma 15   Morse 48


In the varsity girls’ opening race, Henry’s veteran crew of Alex Shade (20:55), Camille Jorgensen (21:01), Natalie Teaze (21:03) and Gio Dowell (21:07) ran well ahead of Mira Mesa’s girls. Natalie Teaze was the pace setter for most of the race. The tempo of the race was impressive after their hard races on Saturday at Mt. SAC. Mira Mesa sophomore Annie Demb finished fifth in 21:46. Sierra Boek, frosh Serena Vesprini-Heidrich, frosh Hannah Running, and soph Claire Jorgensen and soph Haley Fletcher (best frosh pole vaulter in the county last year) rounded out the Henry squad. 

Point Loma ran a reduced varsity squad in the girls’ race, filling six of the first seven to defeat the Morse girls. Junior Sara Bagnell and freshman Lisa Regula ran 20:23 and 22:37 respectively for the first two Point Loma spots. Morse Senior Melodie Galvan ran 22:45 to take third.

Girls Scores:  Patrick Henry 19 Mira Mesa 38        Point Loma 15 Morse


On the JV side, Henry’s boys and girls were outnumbered and outscored by the Mira Mesa squads. Frosh Austin Lane broke up the Marauder pack, finishing 7th in 19:30.  Olivia Chafee ran 4th (23:59) and Natalie Gates was 6th (24:43) led the JV girls. Scores:  Boys MM 15 Henry 49    Girls: MM 18 Henry 43.

Point Loma dominated Morse in their JV scoring, each placing the first 12 twelve runners to win with 15-50 perfect scores. Eduardo Magana won in 18:22, while Elizabeth Alves ran 24:28 as nine freshmen and three sophomores filled the top spots.

League Standings (Varsity):         Boys                                  Girls

                                        Patrick Henry  3-0             Scripps Ranch     3-0

                                        Point Loma       3-1              Patrick Henry    3-0

                                        Scripps Ranch  2-1               Point Loma         2-2

                                        Morse               0-3              Morse                 0-3

                                        Mira Mesa         0-3              Mira Mesa          0-3           


City Conference-Eastern League Week 2  Tuesday Oct 9/16

The Eastern League split its second week, with Morse going against Scripps Ranch on October 9, and Point Loma meeting Henry on the 16th. Mira Mesa took the week off.  Course measurements have been reported from 3.04 to 3.08, but the default distance is appearing as 5000 meters on athletic.net. This makes comparisons to other courses difficult.  As many have observed, the JV times from the first week don’t look right. I am trying to create an adjustment.

Henry’s varsity boys overcame some illness and a huge move by Ricky Sweet of Point Loma to win their competition. Sweet ran 16:20.8 with a big move in the picnic loop. Jorge Matt-Navarro finished 2nd in 16:43.2, with Eric Cota 3rd, Tate Graham 5th, Chris Tammadge 6th, and Jack Studley 9th to complete the scoring. Henry’s top four were separated by only fifteen seconds.  Maintaining a tight 1-5 pack will be essential at CIF.

In last week’s competition, Scripps Ranch Boys ran as a pack, with junior Neil Saddler cruising 17:54 to lead his teammates to a victory over Morse. The top five Scripps runners were separated by 6 seconds.

Boys Scores:       Henry 25 Point Loma 31         Scripps 15  Morse 50

The Point Loma-Henry varsity girls’ race was a battle between Hannah Kay of Henry and Ella Verhees of Point Loma for the entire race, with Kay edging Verhees with a time of 19:02 to Ella’s 19:04.7.  Verhees made a bold move going into the picnic loop, opening a 40 yard gap, but Hannah closed the gap by the volleyball court and won a sprint to the finish. Frosh Carly Josephson also broke 20 minutes with 19:59.5 to finish 3rd, with McKenna Kull 4th in 20:07. After Point Loma’s second runner placed 5th, the Henry pack put a stranglehold on the race, with Sammy Emery 6th, Gio Dowell 7th, Sylvia Longworth 8th, Mariel Nelson 9th, and Alex Shade 10th.  

The October 9 Scripps – Morse girls’ race saw soph Toni Bronars run 19:47 with teammate Emily Erlenbach following in 19:57. Scripps swept the Morse girls.

Girls Scores:  Patrick Henry 21  Point Loma 40        Scripps Ranch 15 Morse 50


The only JV races scored this week were the Henry-Point Loma events. Frosh Ryan Jones showed he is recovering well from his summer injury with a fine win in 17:36.3. Robert Sanchez of Pointy Loma edged Michael Running for second. Henry had five of the first eight finishers to edge Point Loma 27-28. On the girls’ side, Point Loma’s Greta Hammerstrom came from behind to win in 22:46. Vida Ordonez and front-runner Johanna Matt Navarro placed 3rd and 4th in the race.  Superior depth led to a 23-36 win for the Pointers.

League Standings (Varsity):         Boys                                  Girls

                                        Patrick Henry 2-0           Scripps Ranch   3-0

                                        Point Loma     2-1                Patrick Henry    2-0

                                        Scripps Ranch 2-1               Point Loma         1-2

                                        Morse               0-2              Morse                 0-2

                                        Mira Mesa       0-2              Mira Mesa        0-2         

City Conference-Eastern League Week 1  Tuesday Oct 2

The Eastern League kicked off competition with the Morse-Patrick Henry dual followed by a three-way between Point Loma, Scripps Ranch, and Mira Mesa which was scored as three dual meets.  The course measures 3.05 miles, as best this writer can recall.

Henry’s boys and girls both won, led by senior Eric Cota (solo 17:02) and senior Samantha Emery (22:22) over the modified City course.  Morse, with its best turnout in several years, was led by senior Jorge Guzman’s 19:08 for fifth, and Melodie Galvan’s 23:10 for second.  Most of Henry’s varsity crew sat this one out after the trip to Stanford over the weekend.

Boys Score: Henry 16, Morse 47    Girls Score: Henry 22, Morse 40

Point Loma’s boys swept their races, with Ricky Sweet  running 16:55 to win, followed closely by teammate Matthew Duke (16:56)  and Scripps junior Neil Saddler(16:57). The Point Loma top five gap was 33 seconds, with the top seven within a minute of the front.  Point Loma and Mira Mesa both swept the top seven places from a rebuilding Mira Mesa team. Senior Nhixxel Basa led Mira Mesa with a time of 19:04.

Boys Scores:  Point Loma 19   Scripps Ranch 40

                         Point Loma 15 Mira Mesa 50

                         Scripps Ranch 15 Mira Mesa 50


The girls race was a battle for two miles before Point Loma senior Ella Verhees pulled away to win in 20.00.7 over Scripps soph Toni Bronars, who recorded 20:12.6. (Yes, the city conference girls run the same course as the guys.) Bronars was followed by five teammates in the next 52 seconds to notch the team win handily.  Sophomore Annie Semb led Mira Mesa’s girls in 14th overall, with a time of 22:16.

Girls Scores:  Scripps Ranch 20 Point Loma 42  

                         Point Loma 17 Mira Mesa 39

                         Scripps Ranch 15 Mira Mesa 50


The JV races were huge, with 144 boys and 77 girls. Jacoby from Point Loma won the boys in 18:21, while Scripps Ranch’s Olson topped the girls’ field in 21:15.


Freshmen to watch:

Justin Gadalla (SR) 18:02, Ryan Jones (PH) 18:18 Michael Enright (PL) 19:25, Justin Torres (MM) 19:28

 Keely Roche (SR) 20:51, Faye Huber (PL) 21:34, Claire Jarvis (MM) 25:03


League Standings:         Boys                                  Girls

                                     Point Loma     2-0            Scripps Ranch   2-0

                                     Patrick Henry  1-0           Patrick Henry    1-0

                                     Scripps Ranch  1-1           Point Loma        1-1

                                     Morse               0-1           Morse                 0-1

                                     Mira Mesa       0-2             Mira Mesa        0-2