Dos Pueblos High senior Joseph Pearlman and freshman Phoebe Wolfe-Lyons ran away from the competition to earn varsity individual titles at the Channel League Cross Country Championships at DP on Wednesday.
Pearlman took first place with a time of 15:47 while Wolfe-Lyons finished in front of the pack with a time of 19:38.
“I knew how this was going to go, but it was still pretty fun to do this (win the individual title),” Pearlman said.
“It’s really exciting. It was a lot of fun. I put in a lot of hard work and worked really hard in training and stuff like that. and to see it all come together, it’s great,” Wolfe-Lyons said.
Both athletes also helped lead their team to a team title at the Championships.
The Dos Pueblos varsity girls team won the team crown by a wide margin thanks to six Chargers finishing in the top 12. DP collected a team total of 27 points. The next closest was Santa Barbara High with 67 points, followed by San Marcos (78), Lompoc (85), Cabrillo (132) and Santa Ynez (135).
“I am really excited about our team. We are pretty young. We have three freshmen including me and only one senior so I think we are going to stay strong,” Wolfe-Lyons said.
Behind Wolfe-Lyons another freshman, Shaina King of San Marcos who finished with a time of 20:22 and in third place was Lompoc’s Mallory Branum with a time of 20:27. Fourth and fifth went to a pair of runners from DP, senior Estelle Ye (20:39) and Madeline Choi (20:41).
With the win, the Dos Pueblos girls clinched one of three spots for the CIF prelims next week in Riverside. Joining them, however, is still to be determined.
Santa Barbara came in second, San Marcos came in third and Lompoc came in fourth. The problem is due to the fact that in the previous league meet Lompoc finished in second, San Marcos came in third and Santa Barbara came in fourth, the three teams are now deadlocked in a tie for the final two spots with six points.
Santa Barbara coach Olivia Perdices noted that in the previous bylaws before this Channel League was created, the tiebreaker would usually go to the teams’ final place in the Championship meet. No such bylaws exist in the current Channel League books.
“I was under the impression today was the tiebreaker and I walk away with second place, but apparently the ADs are saying that’s not actually written in the bylaws. There’s nothing in the bylaws that cover how to break a tie, which is obviously something that was overlooked by the athletic directors when we merged leagues,” Perdices said.
“I mean, common sense says that, that you go with today’s order. It’s the league championship meet. It’s the strongest team at the point of the season that you’re going into the postseason. But it is out of my hands.”
The athletic directors are currently meeting about which two teams of the three will go, hoping that maybe all three could go alongside DP. The decision should be sent out via email by Thursday morning.
The boys’ side saw a much closer competition. After Pearlman took first place, three San Marcos runners took third, fourth and sixth to pick up some points. Charger runners came in fifth and seventh.
After five runners, both Dos Pueblos and San Marcos were tied with 39 points meaning the tie would be broken by whoever’s No. 6 runner finished first.
Lucky for the Chargers, junior Dylan Richardson of DP had the better finish giving his team the title. Richardson came in 19th after running a time of 17:34.
DP’s Head Coach Nash Jiminez was the one who broke the news to Richardson in front of the whole team after he gathered them together following the race.
“I was in shock, honestly. I had almost given up on the league championship. I had already started my cool down but when they came up and told me that we won it and it was a tiebreaker, it was just incredible,” Richardson said.
“A tie in cross country is pretty rare, so the fact we tied and then it came down to the number six runner was really amazing.”
Jiminez also pointed out that Orlando Ye, who finished fifth amongst Charger runners, is usually their No. 7 runner so his effort was key in the win.
Santa Barbara’s Jake Ballantine came in second in the boys’ race with a time of 16:10. Ballantine was pretty close behind Pearlam for a couple of miles, but by the final stretch, it was Pearlman who was in clear command.
“I just start slow, set the pace and then bring it up. I know what I’m doing, I know what everybody else is doing, so I was never really worried,” Pearlman said.
Will Snyder led the Royals’ pack with a third-place finish at 16:21.25. Jacob Snodgress was fourth at 16:21, DP’s Foster Young was in fifth with a time of 16:31 and San Marcos’s Ethan Dwelley came in sixth with a time of 16:41.
DP, San Marcos, and Santa Barbara will be the three teams representing the boys’ side of the Channel League at the CIF prelims at Riverside next week.