By Zach Cavanagh
For in-game updates, news and more for all of the Dana Hills High School sports programs, follow us on Facebook and Twitter @SouthOCSports.
Cross Country Teams Qualify for CIF-SS Finals
The Dana Hills boys and girls cross country teams comfortably qualified for the CIF-SS Division 2 Finals with strong performances at the CIF-SS preliminaries on Saturday, Nov. 16 at the Riverside Cross Country Course.
The CIF-SS championships will be run at the Riverside course on Saturday, Nov. 23, with the Division 2 girls at 7:45 a.m. and the Division 2 boys at 8:25 a.m.
Tickets can be purchased in advance at gofan.co/app/school/CIFSS. General admission is $10, and high school students with ID and children under 13 are $5. Parking is $10 per car.
The Dana Hills boys finished in seventh as a team in their Division 2 heat—the top 12 from each heat qualified for the Finals—and the top Dolphin runner finished in 39th. However, the Dolphins ran as a pack, finished nearly simultaneously and treated the preliminaries as a three-mile practice run for the final.
Dana Hills finished in seven of the 10 spots from 39th to 48th, with a scoring five-man gap time of 0.02 seconds. All seven runners came in between 3.6 seconds of each other. Omar Garcia took the top spot at 16:00.6. Brandon Pizano, Jai Dawson and Carrick Denker all finished at 16:00.7, and Ryan Broadhead was the fifth scorer at 16:00.8. Joseph Moersch ran a time of 16:01.0, and Gianni Viola came in a 16:04.2.
All of those times are more than a minute slower than their personal records, which shows the practice-run mentality for the preliminaries. The Dolphins will go all out on Saturday.
Dana Hills is ranked No. 2 in the Division 2 boys poll. Newbury Park, No. 1 in Division 2, won the other Division 2 boys heat and took the top two individual spots with Nico Young at 14:56.1 and Jace Aschbrenner at 15:01.2.
The Dana Hills girls finished in fifth as a team in their Division 2 heat. Allura Markow led the Dolphins with an 11th-place finish at 17:38.1.
Maria Gaitain finished in 16th at 17:45.8, Felicia White finished 44th at 19:09.2, Eliza Brian finished in 63rd at 19:26.5 and Ali Germain finished in 66th at 19:30.7
Dana Hills is ranked No. 12 in the Division 2 girls poll.
Through the CIF-SS finals, both Dana Hills teams can qualify for the state meet.
The top seven teams in each division, as well as a maximum of five top-20 individual finishers who are not members of a qualifying team, will qualify for the CIF State Championships.
The CIF State Championships are Nov. 30 at Woodward Park in Fresno.
Boys Basketball Starts Season Strong
The Dolphins boys basketball team got its season off to a roaring start at the Santa Ana/Garden Grove Four City Classic this week.
Dana Hills opened its season with a 46-22 win over Whittier’s California High on Tuesday, Nov. 19 and scored a bigger win over host Santa Ana, 57-22, on Wednesday, Nov. 20. Harrison Weise was the leading scorer in both games with 14 points against California and 16 points against Santa Ana.
The two wins put the Dolphins on top of their pool and into the tournament’s gold bracket. The Four City Classic concludes on Saturday, Nov. 23 at Santa Ana High School, with a third-place game at 12:30 p.m. and a championship game at 2 p.m.
Dana Hills hosts Laguna Beach in the Dolphins’ home opener on Wednesday, Nov. 27.
Girls Basketball, Soccer Open Seasons
The Dana Hills girls basketball and girls soccer teams took hits in their season openers.
The girls basketball team, named a team to watch in CIF-SS Division 2A, lost at Irvine High, 53-22, on Tuesday, Nov. 19. The Dolphins got back at it at home against El Toro on Thursday, Nov. 21, but results were not available at press time.
Dana Hills moves on to the Corona del Mar tournament against Tustin on Monday, Nov. 25.
The girls soccer team opened at home against Capistrano Valley, but the Dolphins took the loss, 2-1. Dana Hills played at Laguna Hills on Thursday, Nov. 21, but results were not available at press time.
Dana Hills is next in action at home against El Toro on Tuesday, Nov. 26.
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.