Sonoma girls SCL cross country co-champs
Lady Dragons 1st title in 26 years, boys 3rd, NCS next
The Lady Dragons, including (in green, from left) Hannah Cenci, Gianna Biaggi, Laura Amador and Madeline Libbey, begin what would be a winning team performance that earned them an SCL co-championship.
With an impressive team performance, highlighted by one senior’s career-best race, while the top senior runner competed through shin-splints for a strong finish, the Sonoma Valley High School girls’ cross country team won Saturday’s Sonoma County League championship meet and earned an SCL co-title with Piner.
On the 3.08-mile Spring Lake course in Santa Rosa, the Lady Dragons, sparked by senior Hannah Cenci’s sensational run to an individual second-place, raced to a league-meet win and are now the SCL co-champions.
It was the first SCL cross country title for the Lady Dragons in 26 years, and followed last year’s Sonoma boy runners who finished Saturday’s meet and the season in third-place, winning their first league championship in 24 years.
Following Cenci’s second-place finish in a time of 19 minutes, 20 seconds, were hurting standout senior Gianna Biaggi’s seventh-place in 20:30; senior Laura Amador’s 13th in 21:18; senior Serena Spry’s 14th in 21:31; freshman Madeline Libbey’s 16th in 21:40; junior Itzel Macedonio’s 23rd in 23:29; and frosh Brianna Lehane’s 29th in 25:35.
“Wow, our first girls’ title since 1986. I was so proud of our girls – they all really stepped up for this meet,” said Sonoma coach John Litzenberg. “I told them before the meet to just focus on winning the race as a team, that was all we could control, and that if we got some help from another team beating Piner, we could end up league champs. It was the exact same scenario as it was for our boys last year, and just like the boys, the girls came through. I feel like lightning struck twice for us – it’s an awesome feeling. I'm really looking forward to seeing how they do at the NCS meet in two weeks.”
Pacing the SCL third-place Dragon boys were senior Chris Tose’s sixth-place finish in 16:06; junior Owen Ljung’s 14th in 17:02; senior A.J. Lemaire’s 20th in 17:35; junior Keegan Ginter’s 23rd in 17:46; senior Peter Gray’s 28th in 18:08; senior Ryland Osborne’s 31st in 18:31; and senior Greg Maggioncalda’s 32nd in 19:05.
In the SCL junior varsity boys’ race, Sonoma was paced by frosh Ty Haury’s eighth in 18:00; sophomore Ian Sloop’s 27th in 19:25; junior Trey Garcia’s 37th in 20:11; frosh Pablo Vazquez-Cruz’s 65th in 21:51; and junior Bailey Zellers’ 66th in 22:05.
The Dragons will next race in the North Coast Section championships on Saturday, Nov. 17, at Hayward High School.