November 24, 2012
Granite Bay freshman wins girls D-II state cross country title

Granite Bay's Maggie Bell, running the third fastest mark all-time by a freshman in the 26-year history of the CIF State Cross Country Championships, won the Division II girls title on Saturday in Fresno.

Bell covered the 5,000-meter Woodward Park course in a time of 17 minutes, 29 seconds. Sophomore Samantha Ortega of Saugus placed second in 17:33.

Bell's time was the fourth fastest among girls racing in the five divisions.

D-I champion Sarah Baxter, a junior from Simi Valley who won her third state title, set a new course record of 16:40, bettering the old mark of 16:43 set by Julia Stamps of Santa Rosa in 1996.

Bell becomes only the fifth area girl to win a state title in the history of the event.

She also becomes Granite Bay's second girls state champion, joining Caitlin Chock, who won D-II in 2002 and 2003.

Bell wasn't the only area freshman to have a strong race. Davis' Fiona O'Keeffe placed sixth in D-I girls in 17:49.

In other area meet highlights:

• Led by Lauren LaRocco's 16th place finish, St. Francis placed second to Great Oak-Temecula, 57-115, in the D-I team finals. Peyton Bilo (30th, 18:31), Eleanor Ferguson (32nd, 18:34), Madison Rawson (38th, 18:38) and Miranda Myers (48th, 18:49) were the other scoring members for the Troubadours.

• For the second year in a row, Vista Del Lago's Madeleine Ankhelyi (17:54) finished third in the girls D-III race. Vista del Lago placed sixth and section champion Del Oro 12th in team results.

• Granite Bay's Trent Brendel finished 10th (15.30) individually and Del Campo was 10th as a team in D-II boys.

• Bella Vista finished 11th in D-II girls.

• Placer placed 11th and El Dorado's Sean Gregg (15:46) was 12th in D-III boys.



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Bee staff writers Joe Davidson and Bill Paterson provide news, analysis and insight on the area high school sports scene in their Prep Blog. Have a question to ask them? Send them an email any time at jdavidson@sacbee.com or bpaterson@sacbee.com.

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