"They like the course and they know that they're strong at the end of the season," Prep boys' Coach Ingrid Herskind said of her squad. "We're peaking right at the right time and our confidence is peaking, too, so we're very excited about that."
The Rebels pack, which turned in a third-place finish at the CIF Southern Section finals at Mount San Antonio College on Saturday, is led by senior Jason Bunn, who was the 12th overall finisher at the finals, and also includes seniors Jesse Redding and Taylor Beith, juniors Eli Weinstein, Jake Johnson and James Bradley and sophomore Elias Ellison.
Woodcrest Christian is the defending champion, but San Juan Capistrano St. Margaret's has emerged as the favorite after winning the Southern Section title. Lancaster Desert Christian, Prep League rival Chadwick and The Urban School of San Francisco from the North Coast Section are other top teams the Rebels will have to contend with.
"Our goal is basically to go after these guys," Herskind said. "We got third last week. I think that we're ranked third again going into the meet and we would like to get up on the podium.
"We know it's going to be a big fight. Woodcrest always comes hard and they're good on this course, they ran very well at the Clovis Invite and pretty much spanked us pretty hard."
Sacred Heart also managed a third-place finish at the CIF finals, where it placed behind Junipero Serra and Harvard-Westlake in Division IV.
"If we hit on all cylinders, it would be nice to be on the [medal stand] and that's our goal," said Sacred Heart Coach Kirk Nishiyama, whose team's race will get underway at 10:05 a.m. "These girls have worked hard. It would be a nice reward to finish the year strong."