Claremont Commands Sweepstakes Spotlight at 75th Mt. SAC XC Invite
Braelyn Combe, Mia Torrecillas earn big Day 2 division wins on warm day
By Pete Marshall for DyeStat
WALNUT, Calif. – It’s been six years since the Claremont girls cross country team won its second of back-to-back Division 2 titles at the CIF State Championships.
Perhaps the Wolfpack are ready to be considered serious contenders for another title.
Claremont accumulated 65 points Saturday to earn the title in the Division 1-2 girls team Sweepstakes at the 75th Mt. SAC Invitational presented by Nike, edging out runner-up Corona Santiago (81), which competed without junior standout Rylee Blade.
“Today is a treat that we were able to win the Sweepstakes, because our team has really been growing throughout the years,” said Claremont senior Denise Chen, who was seventh individually on the 2.93-mile layout in 18:06.
“We’ve done this Mt. SAC course so many times, so to finally win it is really amazing. We’re really excited to push this potential into the postseason.”
Claremont’s top finisher was senior L’Mio Edwards, who took fifth in 17:58, just behind Vista Murrieta’s Erika Kirk placing fourth in 17:55. Edwards said her team, which had five scorers place in the top 30 in Saturday’s race, is used to being under the radar.
“We’ve gotten used to not being as acknowledged. We’ve learned to focus on ourselves,” Edwards said. “We don’t want to be distracted by the accolades of another team. We know we have what it takes.”
With Blade not competing Saturday after leading the Sharks to the team title Oct. 14 at the Inland Empire Challenge, that left an opening for sophomore teammate Braelyn Combe, a transfer from Rancho Cucamonga, to take the individual title in 17:33.
“I was very nervous because (Phoebe Benun of Santa Monica, who finished third in 17:53) was with me for a while there,” said Combe, who improved from running 18:12 in her Mt. SAC debut last season.
Continue reading HERE.
MORE DAY 2
Trey Caldwell, Great Oak Boys Complete Impressive Mt. SAC Comebacks
Caldwell erases 18-second gap in final mile in Division 1-2 individual Sweepstakes; Brett Ephraim runs 14:50 to triumph for San Clemente
By Erik Boal, DyeStat Editor
WALNUT, Calif. – As much as the come-from-behind victories by Concord De La Salle’s Trey Caldwell and the Great Oak boys team were among the biggest highlights Saturday in Division 1-2 Sweepstakes competition at the 75th Mt. SAC Cross Country Invitational presented by Nike, the inspired rallies in both races were part of larger comeback stories from last season.
Caldwell overcame an 18-second deficit in the final mile in the Division 1-2 individual Sweepstakes against Long Beach Millikan senior Jason Parra, with the junior emerging victorious on the 2.93-mile layout in 14 minutes, 49 seconds.
Caldwell, who secured sixth in last year’s Division 1-2 individual Sweepstakes race in 15:08 after clocking 16:48 in his Mt. SAC debut in 2021, elevated to the #2 all-time competitor in program history on the hilly course behind only the 2012 effort of 14:48 by Blair Hurlock.
Parra placed runner-up for the second year in a row, clocking 14:58, leading Millikan to a 165-173 victory against Chaffey. Redondo Union took third with 188 points.
Omar Reyes from Oceanside El Camino, last year’s Division 1-2 individual Sweepstakes winner, took third in 15:07, with Saugus’ Sebastian Peraza (15:12) and La Serna’s Grant Miller (15:14) rounding out the top five.
Great Oak, which had its run of seven consecutive Division 1-2 team Sweepstakes victories halted last season by San Clemente, trailed the Tritons again at the 2-mile mark Saturday.
Although senior Brett Ephraim triumphed in 14:50 for San Clemente, Great Oak had six athletes in the top 40 to overcome a projected 12-point deficit and triumph by an 88-116 margin against the Tritons.
Gabriel Rodriguez finished fourth in 15:02 for the Wolfpack, with Jack Paradise securing seventh in 15:10, Jeffrey Keeney taking 14th in 15:23 and Kai Marotta grabbing 27th in 15:41, in addition to Michael Rodriguez and Jacob Brown both running 15:53 to place 36th and 37th, respectively.
Trabuco Hills took third with 135 points, Mira Costa finished fourth at 164 points, Glendora took fifth with 168 points and Crescenta Valley secured sixth at 189 points.
Continue reading HERE.
For more on the High School Division meet, including course maps, teams, souvenir program, results, history and more, go to: runmtsac.com/invite/high-school
High School Division videos, interviews and more by RunnerSpace HERE.