By Zach Cavanagh
In only his third race of the season, Dana Hills senior Jai Dawson finally reclaimed the Orange County Championships crown for a Dolphin runner.
Dawson outpaced the competition with a run of 15:07 to win the Orange County Championships sweepstakes race on Saturday, Oct. 16, at Oak Canyon Park in Silverado.
Dawson was the first Dana Hills runner to win the county title since Jack Landgraf won as a junior in 2016. Dawson beat Aliso Niguel’s Brennan Foody by seven seconds and Servite’s Jared Steins by a full 10 seconds.
Despite Dawson’s first-place finish, the Dolphins finished fourth overall in the team standings at 116 points. San Clemente finished in first with 50 points, Capistrano Valley was second with 93, and Aliso Niguel was third with 94.
After Dawson, junior Jack Jones was the next Dolphin across the line in 19th at 16:03, and senior Nathan Scheer was nearby at 16:04 in 21st. Junior Noonan Evan finished 39th at 16:30, and junior Michael Mooney finished 48th at 16:49.
In the girls sweepstakes, Dana Hills junior Allura Markow finished third at 17:55, and the Dolphins finished third as a team, with 65 points. Canyon edged out JSerra for the team title, 35-36, and Laguna Hills freshman Holly Barker won the individual crown at 17:14.
Sophomore Paige Scheer and freshman Annie Ivarsson finished in 11th and 12th, respectively, crossing the finish line at exactly the same time, 18:43.3. Sophomroe Tessa Anderson finished in 19th at 19:08, and sophomore Cooper Murphy was the final scoring runner in 33rd at 19:49. Junior Angie Lopez and sophomore Quinci Lott finished right behind Murphy in 34th and 35th.
Dana Hills is next scheduled to run at the vaunted Mt. SAC Invitational on Saturday, Oct. 23, and will take a week off before the South Coast League finals on Nov. 4.