Ramona High School’s boys cross country team placed fifth among Division II schools at the CIF San Diego Section meet at Morley Field.
Ramona’s girls took 11th place among Division II schools.
The meet also saw Ramona sophomore Dylan Blankenbaker finish seventh among the boys and Ramona junior Lindsey Spieker place ninth among the girls. Blankenbaker and Spieker qualified for the state meet.
“You have to run a great race to be able to qualify for state,” said Ramona head coach Steve Albanese. “Lindsey and Dylan ran with a lot of confidence, and sometimes that’s the difference.”
The boys ran a 3.04-mile course while the girls’ course was 2.75 miles. Blankenbaker’s time of 16:51 also made him the race’s first sophomore finisher. Spieker had a time of 17:31, making her the fourth junior to finish her race and improving on her 12th-place time of 18:17 at the Valley League meet Nov. 14 on Kit Carson Park’s 2.75-mile course.
Ramona junior Chance Varnardo-Richardson missed qualifying for the state meet by 6 seconds. The top five runners not with schools who qualify for the state meet as a team qualify as individuals, and Varnardo-Richardson’s time of 17:08 made him the seventh-fastest Division II runner not on a qualifying team.
Nathan Morgan was 31st among Division II boys on Nov. 21 with a time of 17:45, Alec Richardson’s time of 17:56 placed him 43rd, Max Hughes’ final high school cross-country race gave him a 46th-place time of 17:58, Paul Reynolds concluded his high school cross-country career with a time of 18:02 to give him 49th place, and Tanner Perfect finished 85th in the boys race with a time of 19:11.
“Our goal is to get in the top three. There’s a little bit of disappointment, but I feel like they’re on the right path,” Albanese said.
Chelsey Cortez was Ramona’s second girl across the finish line; the senior had a time of 18:16 to place 32nd among Division II girls. Lauren Cortez placed 46th at 18:55, Ashley Duck’s time of 19:59 was worth 76th place, Anna Phillips posted a time of 20:58 to take 93rd place, Tessa Balcom’s final high school cross-country race produced a 97th-place time of 21:09, and Caitlin Choi finished 98th at 21:41.