Pirates Win Ocean League Races; Girls Take Team Title

Written by Neil Farrell

Neil has been a journalist covering the Estero Bay Area for over 27 years. He’s won numerous journalism awards in several different categories over his career.

November 17, 2023

Morro Bay High School’s Cross Country Teams had solid performances in the recent Ocean League Finals Meet, as the Girls’ Varsity Team took the Top-2 spots in the Nov. 4 race held at the Elks Unocal Events Center (Santa Maria Fairgrounds) and the team took home the League Championship, in what has to be a great start to first year-Head Coach Jennifer Frere’s tenure at the helm.

For the Boys’ Varsity Team, the Pirates took second as a team and their top runner, Otis Kelly, ran away with the Individual League Championship.

Kelly Dominates

Senior runner Otis Kelly won the Ocean League Championship, repeating the first-place finish he earned at the Ocean League Mid-Season Meet.

Kelly finished in a time of 16-minutes and 22.73-seconds, a half minute ahead of Second-Place finisher, Josue Salinas of Santa Ynez H.S. (15:57.53). Ashton Andreadakis of Orcutt Academy was third in 16:33.06. Fourth was Samuel Fuson of Orcutt Academy (16:33.53) and fifth went to Nipomo’s Marcus Napoli (16:36.18).

The rest of the Top-8 medalists were: Nipomo’s Ryan Edwards (sixth, 16:38.36); Matthew Alvarado of Nipomo (seventh, 16:38.36); Eli Waldman of Morro Bay (eighth, 15:40.66); Armando Cervantes of Righetti (ninth, 16:43.01); and in 10th place was Fernando Romero-Angeles of Nipomo (16:43.89).

Other top Morro Bay runners were: Lucas McAlpine (16th, 17:15.19); and Jack Walker (26th, 17:40.95) followed closely by Nathan Fuller (27th, 17:41.33).

Also running for the Pirates were: Abe Gade (35th, 18:11.82), and Dominic Holst (40th, 18:32.65). There were 56 total runners representing eight schools in the Boys’ Varsity Race.

In the team scoring Nipomo won the Ocean League with a very respectable 39 points and Morro Bay finished second with 78. Third went to Orcutt Academy Charter School with 82 points.

The boys’ team was slated to compete in the CIF Central Section Meet on Saturday, Nov. 11 in Woodward Park in Clovis. The Top-3 teams will qualify for the State Meet on Saturday, Nov. 25 back at Woodward Park.

Last year the Pirates competed in Div. 4 for the Section Meet and at State. Kelly was 22nd overall in the State race as a junior and the team was seventh.  

At Central Sections the Top-2 teams in each division qualify for State and the Top-8 individuals (apart from the team scoring) also earn berths to the Finals.

Lady Pirates Repeat

The Lady Pirates continued their mastery over the league as Morro Bay’s Top-2 runners finished 1-2 and led the Girls to the Ocean League Title. And they’re both freshmen.

Shelby Taylor won the 3-mile race in 18:34.11, ahead of teammate Wendy Wilson, who clocked 18:56.66, and landing a meaty, one-two punch to the girls’ title push. And perhaps best of all, both girls are freshman.

Brooke Phelan of Santa Ynez was third (19:02.84); Sophie Ramirez of Cabrillo was fourth in 19:06.14; and fifth went to Amaya Uvalie of Righetti (19:35.65).

Adaleyah Jackson of Lompoc was sixth in 19:48.96; seventh was Leslie Rodriguez of Santa Maria (20:23.10) and eighth was Sophia Esparza of Nipomo (20:43.10).

Morro Bay’s Lilith Butler was 13th for the Lady Pirates in 21:22.50; followed by Jane Hotaling (17th, 21:51.49); and Noleen Fahey (24th, 22:26.51) rounded out Morro Bay’s runners. All told there were 49 runners in the Ocean League race.

In the team scoring Morro Bay won its second consecutive league title with 54 points, with Santa Maria second at 65 and third went to Cabrillo of Lompoc with 67.

The Lady Pirates too were slated to run in the CIF Central Sectional Meet in Clovis Nov. 11 and possibly also qualify for State, either as a team or individually.

JV Boys 10th

The junior varsity races for both the Ocean and Mountain Leagues were run together and Morro Bay finished 10th. There were 142 runners in the boys’ JV race.

 San Luis Obispo High took the Top-2 spots as Silas Buchanan was first and Chris Mason was second clocking 16:56.36 and 17:08.31 respectively. Of note, Buchanan is a senior and Mason a junior running in the JV race.

Morro Bay’s top finisher was Joaquin Cuellar in 23rd place in 18:41.66. Also competing were: Cameron D’Aunoy (48th, 19:43.50); Odin Grafton (60th, 20:06.68); and three Pirates followed each other across the finish line finishing 69th, 70th and 71st. Aiden Elmendorf (20:26.60), was just ahead of Ahti Johnson (20:28.02) and Dustin Que (20:28.55).

Also running for Morro Bay were Bench Miranda, Brendt Elliott Mirand, Emmanuel Rios, Logan Bautista, James Lee, Orion Rea, Michael Pascual, Danel (sic) Velasco Ontanon, Dexter Parks, Leif Hjelstrom, Rogelio Castillo and Everett Mongin.

SLOHS won the race with just 28 points, Atascadero was second with 53 and Templeton third with 88.

SLO Sweeps JV Girls

In the JV Girls’ race, SLO High swept the Top-8 spots to score a perfect 15 points and literally run away from second place Pioneer Valley, which had 63.

SLO Tigers Catherine Tucker won in 20:35.12; with Charlotte Petit — a freshman — second (20:48.43) and Rebekah Waterbury third (20:48.75).

Morro Bay didn’t have any runners in the race, which combined the Mountain and Ocean Leagues.

Other Results

Of interest to EBN readers, Joshua Bell, the Templeton High senior who ran away with the Morro Bay Invitational Title at the start of the season, ran away with the Mountain League Championship as well, clocking 14:34.05. Second went to Tyler Daillak of Paso Robles, who also finished fourth at the Morro Bay Invitational. SLOHS runners Weston Greeneish and Nolan Roemmich were 3-4, with Lompoc’s Noah Barthel fifth.

SLOHS easily won the meet with just 38 points; Arroyo Grande was second with 81 and third went to Lompoc with 87.

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