WOODLAND HILLS - Over a year ago, the San Pedro and Port Of Los Angeles High girls cross-country teams claimed both the CIF-Los Angeles City Section Large and Small Schools championships for the first time two schools from the same city claiming a championship on the same day.
It happened again this year, except on this day, it was the San Pedro High boys cross-country team taking their fellow girls team's place atop the City Section.
The terrain at Pierce College of Woodland Hills wasn't as damp as it was last year even though the wind was still cold, a much more warmer climate for all the athletes to run on, and the San Pedro boys capitalized on it to claim their sixth City Section championship, and the school's 54th overall. Steve Correa would also win the individual City title by finishing first in the race with a 15:21 finishing time.
Charlie Nettles finished fourth with a personal best time of 15:37, and Manny Vargas was the Pirates' third highest finisher at 15:45 to power San Pedro to finish with 66 points, which outdistanced runner-up Santee of Los Angeles (85 points).
San Pedro's girls were not able to capture a third straight City title, which would have been their 10th overall, but still finished with 69 points for third place, which coach Bruce Thomson said was only 19 points combined from catching up to eventual champion Palisades, and runner-up Granada Hills. The Pirates ran without Brownyn Bunnell who suffered an ankle injury at the preliminary race the week before.
Danielle Nunez finished third in the race with an 18:33 time even while battling a cold, which was a personal best for the three-time Marine League champion and two-time City champion. Dana Cameron finished eighth which also qualified for the state meet which begins this coming Friday in Fresno.
Thomson would further cement his legacy at San Pedro by capturing his 15th City Section title, nine titles with the girls team, and now six with the boys team.
POLA's girls cross-country team and head coach Maria Pettyjohn later on after the Division I race would get strong performances from the likes of Imelda Pina, Alexis Ceballos and Jacquelyn Zavala among others to win their second consecutive City Section Small Schools Division championship, and the school's fifth crown, joining the three-time defending City Small Schools champion softball team.
(Note: SP Boys XC photo courtesy of Sally Leonhart; POLA Girls XC photo courtesy of Nicole Gant)