Text by Zach Cavanagh
Photos Courtesy of Jimmy Su. Click Here for Full Gallery.
Another dominant full team performance sent the JSerra girls cross country team back to the top last Saturday, Nov. 26.
The Lions placed three runners in the top 15, four runners in the top 20 and all five scoring runners in the top 25 to fend off a challenge from Oaks Christian, 71-82, and capture their second straight CIF State Division IV championship at Woodward Park in Fresno.
It was the fifth state championship for JSerra and the first consecutive state titles since the Lions’ first three championships in 2010, 2011 and 2012. JSerra won its second consecutive and seventh CIF-SS championship the previous week.
JSerra, which posted the second-best team time across all CIF State divisions, also qualified for Nationals with their title win. The Lions will run in the Nike Cross Nationals on Saturday, Dec. 3, in Portland, Oregon. JSerra ran in the first-ever Nike Cross California Regional last year, as a replacement for the Nike Cross Nationals, which were canceled in both 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Last Saturday, JSerra was given a tougher fight for the state title from Oaks Christian than it was for the CIF-SS Division 4 title the previous weekend.
Like at the CIF-SS Finals, Oaks Christian junior Payton Godsey won the individual championship. At the CIF-SS Finals, JSerra ended up with its five scoring runners coming across before Oaks Christian’s third. At State, Oaks Christian scored its first four runners before JSerra scored its fourth, giving Oaks Christian a five-point lead.
However, it was JSerra’s full team effort that brought home the championship. Not only did JSerra score its fifth and final scoring runner, senior Anastasia Snodgrass, before Oaks Christian scored its fifth, but JSerra also got its first alternate and sixth runner, junior Georgia Jeanneret, in before Oaks Christian rounded out its scoring.
Snodgrass finished in 27th (18:55), Jeanneret finished 31st (18:56) and the fifth Oaks Christian runner finished in 43rd (19:20).
JSerra was paced by sophomore Brynn Garcia with a sixth-place finish (17:57). Summer Wilson, a freshman, finished 13th (18:19), freshman Kaylah Tasser finished 16th (18:27) and junior Brooke O’Brien finished 24th (18:49).
In addition to the CIF-SS and CIF State championships, JSerra also won Orange County and Trinity League championships this season.
In other local results at State, the San Clemente boys cross country team finished second in Division I, and Dana Hills’ Evan Noonan won the Division III boys championship. Both the San Clemente boys and Noonan will also run at the Nike Cross Nationals on Saturday.
Zach Cavanagh is the sports editor for Picket Fence Media. Zach is a California Journalism Award winner and has covered sports in Orange County since 2013. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @ZachCav and follow our sports coverage on Twitter @SouthOCSports. Email at firstname.lastname@example.org.