The Orange County Cross Country Championships intend to, as the meet’s website says, “establish a true county champion” and “the All County individual teams.”

A look at the heat sheets for this year’s event, being held Friday and Saturday at Oak Canyon Park in Irvine, supports those claims.

Fourteen of the girls teams in the Orange County top 16 rankings compiled by and 14 of the top 16 boys teams in the rankings are entered in the Orange County Championships.

All of the runners in the Orange County individual girls top 11 are entered, including No. 1 Holly Barker, a sophomore at Laguna Hills, and No. 2 Sophie Polay, a Santa Margarita sophomore who ran a great race at the Clovis Invitational last week.

Nine of the 11 runners in the county individual boys top 11 have entered, including county No. 1 Juan Chantaca, a senior at San Clemente, and No. 2 Jayden Hernandez, a Godinez sophomore.

The Orange County Championships, which started in the 1960s, will be run on a mostly flat course at Oak Canyon Park.

Schools that are in CIF Southern Section Divisions 3, 4 and 5 compete on Friday. Teams in the other divisions compete Saturday. Some schools in the lower divisions have the option of moving up to Saturday’s upper-division races.

Friday’s racing begins at 3 p.m. Saturday’s first race is at 7:45 a.m.

Parking is $20 each day.


San Clemente’s boys team, which is entered in the Orange County Championships, finished second to Newbury Park in the standings at last weekend’s Clovis Invitational.

The Tritons are No. 1 in the county boys team rankings and No. 1 in the CIF-SS Division 1 rankings.

Santa Margarita was 14th in the boys overall standings. Dana Hills was 18th.

Chantaca was the top Orange County boys runner at the meet. He ran the eighth-fastest time at Clovis, finishing the 5K course at Woodward Park in Fresno in 15 minutes and 11.3 seconds.

Woodward Park is the site where the CIF State Championships will be held Nov. 26.

San Clemente junior Brett Ephraim had the next-best time among Orange County athletes at Clovis, finishing 31st overall at 15:36.9. Tritons senior Rory Catsimanes contributing to the team results at 15:40.9.

JSerra’s girls team was second to Los Altos at the Clovis Invitational in the overall standings. The Lions were led by sophomore Brynn Garcia, who had the day’s 21st-best time of 18:08. Lions freshman Kaylah Tasser was one place behind her at 18:12.4.

Huntington Beach was 14th in the girls overall standings. El Toro was 19th.

Santa Margarita sophomore Sophie Polay was Orange County’s top finisher, taking firth place at 17:35.1 on the 5K course. That is 36 seconds faster than her time at Woodward Park last season in the CIF State meet.

Huntington Beach junior Makenzie McRae was 15th at 15:57. Dana Hills senior Allura Markow took 19th at 17:59.7.


The CIF-SS Championships will be held at Mt. San Antonio College next month.

The prelims for Divisions 1 and 5 are Nov. 11. Prelims for the other divisions are Nov. 12.

The finals for all divisions are Nov. 20 at Mt. SAC.

All league finals must be completed by Nov. 4.