Southwestern League dual meets afoot for first time in 11 months

TEMEUCLA – For the first time since mid-March of 2020, student-athletes were engaged in interscholastic athletic competition this week, bringing about the first steps in moving high school sports closer to coming back in full.

Competition ensued after Gov. Gavin Newsom lifted the COVID-19 regional stay-at-home order, putting counties back into the state’s colored, four-tiered system. Most local counties remain in a purple-tiered area, meaning the virus remains widespread and several restrictions are still necessary to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Senior, Brianna Weidler of Great Oak High School. Valley News/Time Stood Still Photography

The latest state guidelines on youth sports, as of Dec. 14, reflect that competition was granted Jan. 25 — the day the order was lifted — and lists sports that are allowed within each tier. Under the purple tier, cross-country is on the list, catapulting hopes that even more sports will follow.

“There has not been enough progress made from the purple tier toward the orange tier for football, girls’ volleyball and boys and girls water polo to even begin competition this season,” Rob Wigod, commissioner of Athletics, said in a prepared statement. Wigod said in a previous statement.

Senior, Austin Montez of Great Oak High School. Valley News/Time Stood Still Photography

Nearly two weeks after announcing its decision to cancel its fall sports championships, CIF officials recently announced the return of high school cross-country competitions and locally, Southwestern League boys’ and girls’ teams took to the course at Temecula Valley High School this week.

“There were a lot of happy kids, excited to be competing for all the schools.” Says Great Oak head cross country and track and field coach, Doug Soles.

The meets will only be dual meets and runners must arrive separately at the events, and must leave once their race has been completed, but it is a start.

Senior, Jacob Bustamante of Chaparral High School. Valley News/Time Stood Still Photography

“Definitely felt like old times,” added Soles. “Many athletes said they were super excited to just get a competition in to remember why they train and to be motivated to work harder moving forward. Hats off to all the AD’s in our league for making it happen.”

Great Oak seemed to pick up with their left off last season as both the boys’ and girls’ teams ran off with convincing wins over Murrieta Mesa, Vista Murrieta also swept in both departments over Chaparral and Temecula Valley and Murrieta Valley split their wins with the girls’ team falling to the Lady Golden Bear runners when the dust settled. Here are the results featuring scores and the top five runners, or runner from each school:

Vista Murrieta (16)

vs.

Chaparral (47)  

Girls

  1. Isabella Smith (11) – Vista Murrieta – 16:14.0
  2. Natasha King (11) – Vista Murrieta – 16:34.4
  3. Amari Guzman (11) – Vista Murrieta – 16:39.7
  4. Marissa O’Connor (10) – Vista Murrieta – 16:41.7
  5. Morgan Smith (10) – Chaparral – 17:08.9

Vista Murrieta (23)

vs.

Chaparral (38) 

Boys

  1. Jacob Bustamante (12) – Chaparral – 13:00.1
  2. Noah Murasmith (12) – Vista Murrieta – 13:16.9 2
  3. Jacob Zerecero (12) – Vista Murrieta – 13:36.9 3
  4. Mike Martinez (11) – Chaparral – 13:41.9 4
  5. Gabe Jasperson (12) – Vista Murrieta – 13:47.5 5 1.

Great Oak (15)

vs.

Murrieta Mesa (50)

Girls

  1. Brianna Weidler (12) – Great Oak – 15:36.5
  2. Hannah Miller (10) – Great Oak – 15:52.9
  3. Joelle Upshur (10) – Great Oak – 15:54.3
  4. Kali Kraus (10) – Great Oak – 15:54.4
  5. Aishling Fabian (10) – Great Oak – 16:07.0
  6. Emily Kendrick (11) – Murrieta Mesa – 17:11.9

Great Oak (15)

vs.

Murrieta Mesa (50)

Boys

  1. Austin Montez (12) – Great Oak – 13:17.5
  2. Nick Gaffney (10) – Great Oak – 13:18.3
  3. Mark Cortes (10) – Great Oak – 13:18.9
  4. David Kankowski (10) – Great Oak – 13:20.9
  5. Cameron Smith (11) – Great Oak – 13:21.912.
  6. Riley Menter (12) – Murrieta Mesa – 14:28.9

Temecula Valley (26)

 vs.

Murrieta Valley (29)

Girls

  1. Isabel Rosales (9) – Murrieta Valley – 15:55.9
  2. Paige Thamer (11) – Temecula Valley – 16:39.1
  3. Karlie Bogan (11) – Temecula Valley – 16:54.8
  4. Megan Thamer (10) – Temecula Valley – 17:25.2
  5. Hannah Butler (11) – Murrieta Valley – 17:45.6

Temecula Valley (20)

 vs.

Murrieta Valley (38)

Boys

  1. Alex Kalmar (12) – Temecula Valley – 13:25.3
  2. Juan Rosales (12) – Murrieta Valley – 13:42.9
  3. Cooper Anderson – (11) – Murrieta Valley – 14:11.0
  4. Joshua Sweetnam – (12) – Murrieta Valley – 14:12.8
  5. Ronald Fernandez – (9) – Murrieta Valley – 14:14.8

Next up: Southwestern League Duals Week 2

Thursday, February 11 at Galway Downs

Great Oak vs. Temecula Valley

Girls (JV/V combined) – 2:00

Boys (JV/V combined) – 2:30

Murrieta Valley vs. Vista Murrieta

Girls (JV/V combined) – 3:15

Boys (JV/V combined) – 3:45

Chaparral vs. Murrieta Mesa

Girls (JV/V combined) – 4:30

Boys (JV/V combined) – 5:00

*Full results can be found at http://www.finishedresults.com

JP Raineri can be reached by email at sports@reedermedia.com.