The second Moore League cross country meet of the season didn’t feature the same theatrics of the first meet, but Tuesday evening’s Signal Hill Discovery Well race did end up with the same results across the board. Long Beach Poly swept the boys’ and girls’ team top finishes, and had both individual winners as well, in senior Ronan McMahon-Staggs on the boys side and freshman Camille Lindsay on the girls side.
There was a lot of talk around town after the first meet of the year, at El Dorado, about whether this would be the year the Poly boys were unseated. They edged Wilson by only a point at ElDo, but won more comfortably at Signal Hill on Tuesday, beating the Bruins 19-38 in head to head scoring.
“They wanted to make a statement,” said Poly coach Mike Fillipow. “They opened it up and went after it a little bit today.”
McMahon-Staggs was the first finisher for the second time in two league meets this season, finishing in 16:22.
“We definitely needed a good showing, we wanted to prove that we’re faster than the way we ran at ElDo,” said McMahon-Staggs. “We wanted to just go get as many guys in front of the pink jerseys as possible.”
The reference was to the new pink uniforms Wilson was sporting in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Poly had four of the top five finishers, as Zane Witter passed Wilson’s Caden Elsesser in the final 50 meters. Ezequiel Barraza and TJ Bryson were the fourth and fifth place finishers for Poly. Wilson continues to look strong, easily taking second place thanks to runs from Elsesser as well as Zami Moscoco (sixth) and Joseph Espzinoza (10th). Poly and Wilson runners were 12 of the top 14 finishers in the race.
Aiden Alegria (eighth) led Lakewood, Scott Kirchhoff (ninth) led Millikan, Salvador Hurtado (27th) led Cabrillo, Jesus Lopez (29th) led Compton and Cezanne Lopez (37th) was Jordan’s top finisher.
On the girls’ side, the team race was significantly less clear. The Signal Hill race requires runners to run up the hill, do three laps around it, and then run back down. At the first turn around the hill, a rough count looked like Wilson was in the lead. On the second turn, Millikan had the team lead. By the time the teams came back down the hill, Long Beach Poly had put five runners in the top 11 spots and ended up taking the team win, 25-30 over Millikan and 21-34 over Wilson.
It was something of a surprise result, given that Poly has a young team and that Signal Hill is usually a tactical race that rewards the more experienced teams.
“After that one-point win at El Dorado, we knew it would be tough,” said Poly coach Gabrielle Bournes. “We’ve been talking a lot about physical and mental strength, and then girls pushed through and finished strong at the end of the race. They showed a lot of mental toughness on the hill.”
The easy winner was the freshman phenom Camille Lindsay, whose time of 19:23 was a full minute faster than second-place finisher Isabella Stockalper of the Rams. Stockalper herself was a full 30 seconds ahead of the third-place finisher, her teammate Hazel McIntosh, who finished in 20:54.
After that it was Poly’s Bella Ungar and Ailene Rios, followed by Wilson’s Belen Romero. Poly’s Laura Yontz and Chloe Fuson finished 10th and 11th to seal the win for the Jackrabbits.
Lindsay couldn’t have seem less fazed by conquering her second league meet in as many tries.
“It was tough but it’s a really nice course,” she said. “We’ve been working hard in our training and our team has really been pushing each other.”
Lakewood’s top finisher was Delilah Chavez (12th), and Cabrillo’s top finisher was Ashley Williams (28th).
The Moore League cross country finals will decide the team and individual champions to conclude what’s been an exciting season–they’ll be held Wednesday, November 6 at Heartwell Park.