Eight Lompoc Valley runners will now head to the CIF Southern Section Finals in Riverside this Saturday.

Cabrillo advanced to the section finals after delivering a strong team performance last weekend, finishing eighth in its heat at the CIF Southern Section prelims on Saturday. Lompoc’s Greg Wuitschick will be joining the Conqs at the final meet for the section on Nov. 17.

All of them now have a chance to seal a spot in the CIF State Cross Country Finals held in Fresno’s Woodward Park the Saturday after Thanksgiving.

Wuitschick punched his ticket into the section finals after turning in a time of 16 minutes, 3.3 seconds at the CIF-SS prelims held at the Riverside Cross Country Course. Wuitschick’s finished 13th out of 139 runners in the Division 4, Heat 2 race. Overall in Division 4, Wuitschick placed 23rd.

If Wuitschick clinches a spot in the state meet, he’ll become the second LHS runner since 2016 to head to the San Joaquin Valley, joining current UC Riverside runner and former Brave Isaac Acosta.

The Conquistadores, who recently placed second in the Channel League during their first season as a member, managed to place eighth in the team standings for their heat. The top 12 teams in each heat advance to the CIF-SS Finals.

The Conqs who will now head to the section finals and represent CHS are Osvaldo Espinoza, Jacob Brown, Eddie Trejo, Tyler Johnson, Kaden Jones, Ricky Babb and Nathan Ortiz.

Espinoza was the fastest runner for CHS at the prelims – racing to a time of 16:19, placing 20th in his heat and 38th overall. Next up for the Conqs was Brown, who came in with a time of 16:29.2 and took 30th in the heat.

Trejo followed for CHS at No. 48 overall among the runners and stayed below the 17 minute mark, finishing with a time of 16:54.5. Johnson took 68th by accelerating his way to a finish of 17:17.4.

Jones and Babb took 74th and 75th overall, respectively. Jones came in with a time of 17:29.8 while Babb finished at 17:32.9. Ortiz went on to settle for 96th overall for CHS, running to a time of 18:16.6 to lift CHS to its No. 8 team mark in the D4 realm.

Anthony Grover of San Juan Capistrano J Serra Catholic won the D4 race with his time of 15:25.4. His team took first overall by collecting 84 points, edging out Los Angeles Cathedral (88).

Santa Ynez junior Kiely West finished 50th overall in Division 4 on the girls side with a time of 19:24.50. Hanni Richter was 58th with a time of 19:34.90.

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