By Zach Cavanagh
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Boys Cross Country Takes State Silver, Qualifies for Nationals
The Dana Hills boys cross country team added another trophy to its crowded mantel and once again put itself on the national stage with its performance at the CIF State Championships on Nov. 30 at Woodward Park in Fresno.
The Dolphins were led by a school-record performance by senior Carrick Denker in third place and a strong performance by sophomore Jai Dawson in sixth to claim second-place silver in CIF State Division II and earn an invitation to the Nike Cross Nationals.
Dana Hills will run in Nationals on Saturday, Dec. 7 at Glendoveer Golf Course in Portland, Oregon.
This is the Dolphins’ ninth appearance at the Nike Cross Nationals under coach Craig Dunn.
Denker’s time of 14:59 set the school record for Dana Hills on the 5,000-meter state championship course. Dawson finished in 15:09. Junior Brandon Pizano came in 19th at 15:30, senior Omar Garcia finished 33rd at 15:41, and junior Gianni Viola rounded out the scoring five in 43rd at 15:50.
As it was in the CIF-SS Finals, Dana Hills finished behind Newbury Park, who won the state title in convincing fashion, 37-88. Newbury Park was paced again by back-to-back state champion Nico Young at 14:28 and Jace Aschbrenner at 14:53, who finished 1-2 in the race.
On the girls side, Allura Markow closed out her freshman season in spectacular fashion with an eighth-place finish in Division II with a time of 17:51 in the 5,000-meter race. Markow qualified for state as an individual with a 12th-place finish at CIF-SS Finals.
Markow bested her time from the Clovis Invitational on the same course on Oct. 12 by 44 seconds.
Zach Cavanagh is the sports editor for Picket Fence Media. Zach is a California Journalism Award winner and has covered sports in Orange County since 2013. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @ZachCav and follow our sports coverage on Twitter @SouthOCSports.