Three Palisades High runners–Sarah Bentley, Lucas Shriver and Brett Bailey–qualified for the State meet last Saturday in the L.A. City Section Division 1 cross-country race at Pierce College. They will now compete in Fresno on November 30.
This was Rob Hockley’s first year as Pali’s head coach and he told Circling the News in an email: “I’m really proud of how both teams ran.”
With 66 points, the boys took third in the Division 1 race behind San Pedro (53) and Marshall (55).
Junior Lucas Shriver finished second (15:38.23) behind San Pedro’s Maz Arroyo, who ran 15:36.50. Pali’s Brett Bailey (15:59.38) also qualified for State by finishing tenth overall. Sophomores Noah Wexler, Alec Schmitt and Jeremy Santiago were 16 and 18 and 20, respectively.
“The boys ran as well as they could on the day,” Hockley said. “I’ve been told by other coaches that this was the fifth fastest men’s time for Pali that they can remember in the last 30 years; I don’t know the accuracy of that statement myself, but I’ll take it. Unfortunately, two teams ran better than us on the day; we can’t control that.
“Well deserved congratulations go to San Pedro and Marshall,” said Hockley, who noted that he had an unusually young team. “Six of the seven boys who raced for us are all returning next year.”
The Pali girls finished fourth with 110 points, behind winner Granada Hills (30), San Pedro and El Camino Real, who tied at 86.
“The girls ran incredibly well,” Hockley said. “It was always a ‘huge ask’ for the youngest team we’ve ever had to finish top two. But I can tell you that deep into the race they were within touching distance; but it wasn’t to be.”
Senior Sarah Bentley finished third (18:25.20) behind Granada Hills’ Sofia Abrego (18:03.52) and El Camino Real’s Shana Mendelsohn (18:16.84).
The Dolphins’ top finishers included freshmen Sydney Suh (19th) and Layla Adeli (27th), sophomore Scarlett Klein (29th) and freshman Caily Galvez (36th).
“Six runners on the girls’ team are returning students as well,” Hockley said.
PaliHi dominated the Western League cross-country finals, winning the boys and girls, frosh/soph, JV and varsity divisions. For the varsity Lucas Shriver took first (15:50) and Sarah Bentley won the girls (19:33).