finishing second and third, respectively, in the league cluster meet
involving Laguna Hills, Aliso Niguel, Woodbridge and Foothill.
Rakestraw, who clocked 15 minutes, 42 seconds, was topped by
Woodbridge's Conrad Wozniak (15:35), while Blue, who won the Orange
County championships a year ago at the same location, took a wrong
turn and ended up losing her lead.
Blue clocked in at 18:40 after going nearly 200 yards down a wrong
path, giving up her initial lead of about 10 seconds.
"My goal was to come out and win this easily," said Blue, who
finished second in last year's CIF State Division II race. "I better
watch and figure out the course [for Oct. 15's county championships
on the same course]."
The Sailor girls, ranked No. 6 in CIF Southern Section Division
II, lost to Woodbridge, 26-30, but topped the other four schools,
while the Newport boys defeated Irvine, 18-30, but lost to the
Blue led the Newport girls (4-1), while junior Lauren Maddox
(eighth, 19:19), junior Taylor Bryson (10th, 19:33), Melissa Mead
(12th, 19:40) and Desiree Alexander (23rd, 20:15) rounded out the
Woodbridge, led by Jessie Babcock (first, 18:04) and Christine
Babcock (second, 18:07), went undefeated in the meet to gain an edge
in the league standings.
"The girls ran really well," Newport girls coach Eric Tweit said.
"I was really happy with all of them."
Tweit said the whole team took responsibility for Blue's
"What can you do?" he asked. "We made a mistake, all of us. We
didn't do what we should have done. I think the combination of the
heat and how focused she was on what she was doing before the race
had something to do with it."
Blue took her wrong turn about two miles into the race, Tweit
said, as she had a sizable lead before backtracking.
The extra distance cost her about 25 seconds, Tweit added.
The Newport girls finished third in league last season behind
Blue, who won the league title in 17:07, considerably faster than her
outing on Thursday. Her winning time was exactly the same as her time
at the county championships a little earlier in the year.